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Full text of "Old English plate, ecclesiastical, decorative, and domestic; its makers and marks"

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EWER (1741), BY PAUL LAMERIE, AT GOLDSMITHS' HALL, LONDON. 

[See J>. 267. 



7143 
CM 
CHM 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE, 

Ecclesiastical, 13ccorati&e, attb Domestic ; 
ITS MAKEES AND MAEKS. 



WITH 



IMPROVED TABLES OF THE DATE-LETTERS USED IN ENGLAND, 
SCOTLAND, AND IRELAND. 



FOUNDED UPON THE PAPERS AND TABLES OF 

a OCTAVIUS S. MORGAN, F.R.S., F.S.A. 

By WILFEED JOSEPH CRIPPS, M.A., 

* » • 

BARRISTER- AT-LAW. 



•" whose labour is yet in mynde, 

Was he, whiche firste the lettres fonde." 

Goweb. 



WITH ILLUSTRATIONS. 



LONDON: 
JOHN MUREAY, ALBEMARLE STEEET 

1878. 

[All rights reserved.] 



w 

W 



lont>on : 
bbadbuky, agnew, & co., pbintebs, whitefbiabs. 



TO 

C. OCTAVIUS S. MORGAN, F.R.S., F.S.A., 

WHOSE OWN WORK FORMS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT PAET OF THIS VOLUME, 

AND 
TO WHOSE AID THE REST OWES ITS CHIEF INTEREST, 

®jje follofoing |JHge8 

ARE WITH VERY SINCERE REGARD INSCRIBED. 



PKEFACE. 

More than twenty years have elapsed since Mr. 
Octavius Morgan first drew attention to the hall-marks 
upon ancient English plate, and the interesting informa- 
tion to be obtained from them. 

Mr. Morgan's papers and tables have long been out 
of print, and have so completely retained their value 
as the best authority on the subject, that a very general 
demand for a new edition has arisen. The Author has 
accordingly undertaken the preparation of the present 
volume, not without the promised help of the eminent 
antiquary upon whose work it is based ; but the addi- 
tions which have been made to Mr. Morgan's original 
papers are so large that the New Edition is almost a 
new book. 

These additions include the greater part of the 
chapters upon Scotch, Irish, and Provincial hall-marks, 
besides those upon old English plate, ecclesiastical and 
domestic. 



X PREFACE. 

Much of the information now published for the first 
time as to ancient provincial plate and its marks, has 
been collected by the Author, and is added in deference 
to a suggestion in the Quarterly Keview of April 1876, 
that " this is the direction which future enquiry ought 
to take." 

The illustrated chapters and fac-similes of old plate 
marks are intended to enable the reader to identify 
the specimens that come under his notice by their 
fashion as well as by the hall-marks they bear, and 
enlarge Mr. Morgan's little treatise upon hall-marks into 
a more or less complete Handbook for the collector of 
old plate. With this object, the best authorities have 
been consulted to correct or corroborate the results of 
the Author's personal research, and the illustrations have 
been carefully arranged, so as to make this portion of 
the volume a useful practical guide, for reference rather 
than a description of examples well enough known already. 

It has been found impossible to give authority for 
every detail, or to distinguish between the original work 
of Mr. Morgan and the newly added portions ; if there- 
fore the critical reader will be good, enough to take the 
simple course of attributing all that appears to be most 
valuable to Mr. Morgan and the rest to the Editor, the 
latter will be more than satisfied with any share that 
under these circumstances may be left him. 



PREFACE. XI 

It remains for him to acknowledge with gratitude the 
free access which has been permitted to every public and 
almost every private collection of plate in London and 
the Provinces, and to every record which seemed likely 
to be of service. The help of the Goldsmiths' Company, 
and their clerk, Mr. Prideaux, must be specially dwelt 
upon, and also the assistance afforded in various ways 
by the other great City Companies, many Cathedra] 
Chapters, and the Wardens and Assay Masters of every 
provincial Goldsmiths' Hall. Much information as to 
York and Newcastle plate has been kindly collected 
for the Author by Mr. T. M. Fallow, and many 
valuable notes have been contributed by Mr. A. W. 
Franks, Professor A. H. Church, Mr. W. D. Water- 
house of Dublin, Mr. J. H. Sanderson of Edinburgh, 
and others. 

The loan of wood-blocks must be acknowledged sepa- 
rately. For a number of these the Author is indebted to 
the Society of Antiquaries, to the Eoyal Archaeological 
Institute, and (more than all) to Mr. G. E. French, of 
the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society and of 
the Ironmongers' Company ; for two blocks to the kind- 
ness of Mrs. J. C. Dent, and for single engravings to his 
Grace the Duke of Beaufort, Mr. W. A. Tyssen -Amherst, 
and Mr. James Parker. 

Much depends upon the accuracy of the tables of 



xii PBEFACE. 

date-letters. Many of them have been engraved afresh 
upon wood for this volume, and the London tables owe 
much to the personal interest taken by Mr. J. M. Garrard 
in superintending their execution. 

In conclusion the writer would only add that he will 
be most thankful for any notes, or impressions from the 
marks upon ancient plate, with which those who make 
use of this handbook may be good enough to favour 
him, in order that greater accuracy may be ensured in 
any future edition. 

W. J. C 

Cirencester, 

February, 1878. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

PAGE 

Preliminary — Gold— Silver — Their alloys — The English standards — 
The assay — Coloured gold — Frosted silver — A simple test for 
silver — Goldsmiths' weights — Mint prices for gold ... 1 



CHAPTER II. 

The mediaeval guilds of goldsmiths in France and England — The 
Goldsmiths' Company of London — Eegulations of the Goldsmiths' 
Guild at Montpellier — Charters of the London goldsmiths — 
Early legislation relating to them and their marks — The Corona- 
tion Regalia — The banker-goldsmiths — Legislation from the 
time of Charles II. — Table of London marks . . . .22 



CHAPTER III. 

The marks on plate assayed in London — The leopard's head— The 
maker's mark — The date-letter — The lion passant — The lion's 
head erased and figure of Britannia — The Sovereign's head . 60 



CHAPTER IV. 

The Provincial assay towns and their marks, prior to 1701 — York — 
Newcastle-upon-Tyne — Norwich — Chester — Exeter — Doubtful 
marks — Table of old provincial marks . . . . .89 



CHAPTER V. 

The Provincial assay towns and their marks, since 1701— York — ■ 
Exeter — Chester — Norwich — Newcastle - upon-Ty ne — Birming- 
ham and Sheffield— Table of modern provincial marks . .118 



XIV CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER VI. 

PAGE 

Scotland — Scotch legislation — The Edinburgh goldsmiths — Their 
marks, deacons, and assay-masters — Old provincial marks — 
Modern Glasgow — Table of Edinburgh and Glasgow marks . 134 

CHAPTER VIL 

Ireland — The Goldsmiths' Company of Dublin — New Geneva — Table 

of Dublin marks . . . . . . . . .151 

CHAPTER VIII. 

Frauds and offences — Old offences — The report to Parliament of 
1773— The Acts of 1739 and 1844 — Cases prosecuted under their 
provisions — An amateur's experiences in the streets of London . 160 

CHAPTER IX. 

Ecclesiastical plate — Historical sketch— Chalices— Communion cups 

— Patens — Flagons — Alms-basins — Candlesticks . . .172 

CHAPTER X. 

Decorative and domestic plate — Effect of the Wars of the Roses — 
Prosperity of the sixteenth century — Great destruction of old 
plate at various times — Gold plate — Obsolete vessels — Spoons 
— Mazers — Salts — Stoneware jugs — Ewers, basins, and salvers — 
Standing cups and hanaps — Tankards — Drinking cups of various 
kinds — Plates — Forks — Monteiths — Candlesticks, sconces, etc. — 
Toilet services — Castors and cruet-stands — Tea and coffee ser- 
vices, kettles, etc. — Cake baskets and epergnes — Maces . .212 



APPENDIX A. 

Chronological list of the examples used as authority for London 

date-letters and makers' marks 339 



APPENDIX B. 

Improved tables of the date-letters used by all the English, Scotch, 

and Irish assay offices from the earliest times .... 395 



INDEX . . . . ' . . . . .. ■ . . .423 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 

♦ ■ 

PAGE 

1. EWEB (1741), BY PAUL LAMEBIE Frontispiece 

2„ COFFIN CHALICE AND PATEN, 13TH CENTUBY . . . 186 

3. CHALICE (1459) AT NETTLECOMBE 189 

4. PATEN TO THE SAME 191 

6. BISHOP FOX'S CHALICE (1511) AT COEPUS CHEISTI COLL., OXFOBD 192 

6. SIB THOS. POPE'S CHALICE (1527) AT TEINITY COLLEGE, OXFOBD. 193 

7. PATEN TO THE SAME 194 

8. COMMUNION CUP (1570) AT CIEENCESTEB 195 

9. COMMUNION CUP AND PATEN-COVEB (1576) AT CHEISTCHUBCH, 

CO. MONMOUTH 197 

10. COMMUNION VESSELS, CIBCA 1640 201 

11. COMMUNION CUP (1676) AT ASHBY-DE-LA-ZOUCHE . . . . 202 

12. CUP (1460) AT GATCOMBE, ISLE OF WIGHT . . . . . 203 

13. CUP (1535) AT CIEENCESTEB . . . . . . . . 205 

14. COMMUNION FLAGON (1576) AT CIEENCESTEB .... 208 

15. SIDEBOAED OF THE 16TH CENTUBY 217 

16. SET OF THIETEEN APOSTLES' SPOONS (1626) ..... 223 

17. THEEE APOSTLES' SPOONS, 16TH CENTUBY . 225 

18. THE PUDSEY SPOON (1445) . . . . . . . 227 

19. SPOONS OF THE 16TH, 17TH, AND 18TH CENTUEIES . . . . 228 

20. MAZEE, TEMP. EICHAED II . 237 

21. THE SCBOPE MAZEE 239 

22. MAZEE (CIBCA 1450) AT ALL SOULS' COLL., OXFOBD . . . 241 

23. MAZEE (CIECA 1450) AT IEONMONGEES' HALL 242 

24. MAZEE (CIECA 1470) AT OBIEL COLL., OXFOBD . . . . 243 

25. BAND OF MAZEE (1532) AT NAEFOBD HALL . ... 244 

26. CUP, WITH RODNEY ARMS 246 

27. CUP, THE PBOPEETY OF THE DUKE OF HAMILTON . . . . 247 

28. CUP (1492), FEOM THE SOLTYKOFF COLLECTION . . . .248 

29. CUP, THE PBOPEETY OF O. MOBGAN, ESQ. 248 

30. HOUB-GLASS SALT (1518) AT IEONMONGEES' HALL . . . 254 

31. SALT (1569) AT VINTNERS' HALL 256 

32. SALT (1567), THE PROPERTY OF THE CORPORATION OF NORWICH 258 



XVI LIST OF ILLUSTBATIONS. 

PAGE 

33. SALT (1607) AT CHEIST'S HOSPITAL, LONDON . . . " . . 259 

34. OCTAGONAL SALT (1685) AT MEECEBS' HALL 260 

35. TEENCHEE SALTS 261 

36. STONEWAEE JUG (1562) AT VINTNEES' HALL 262 

37. EOSE-WATEE SALVEE (CIRCA 1590) AT MEECHANT TAYLOES' HALL . 266 

38. COCOA-NUT CUP (CIECA 1500) AT IEONMONGEES' HALL . . . 277 

39. DBINKING HOEN AT CHEIST'S HOSPITAL 279 

40. THE CAWDOE HOEN, TEMP. HENEY VII. 280 

41. CUP AT OEIEL COLL., OXFOED 282 

42. THE LEIGH CUP (1499) AT MEECEES' HALL 284 

43. THE EICHMOND CUP AT AEMOURERS' HALL 285 

44. THE CHAPMAN CUP (1580) AT ARMOUEEES' HALL .... 287 

45. PEA-HEN CUP AT SKINNEES' HALL 290 

46. WAGEE CUP, 17TH CENTUEY, AT VINTNEES' HALL .... 291 

47. THE EDMONDS CUP (1613) AT CAEPENTEES' HALL . . . . 293 

48. THE BLACKSMITHS' CUP (1655) 295 

49. THE EOYAL OAK CUP (1676) AT BAEBER SURGEONS' HALL . . 296 

50. THE PEPYS CUP (1677) AT CLOTHWORKERS' HALL . . . 298 

51. CUP (1739), BY PAUL LAMERIE, AT GOLDSMITHS' HALL . . . 299 

52. CUP (1795) AT MERCHANT TAYLORS' HALL 301 

53. TANKARD (1618), THE PROPERTY OF THE CORPORATION OF NORWICH 305 

54. IRISH TANKARDS (1680) AT MERCHANT TAYLORS' HALL . . . 306 

55. tazza, CIRCA 1585 308 

56. TAZZA, EARLY 17TH CENTURY 308 

57. BEAKER (1604) AT MERCERS' HALL 310 

58. CAUDLE CUP (1654) AT CLOTHWORKERS' HALL 312 

59. caudle cup (1670) 313 

60. PORRINGER (1674) 314 

61. FLUTED PORRINGER (1699) 315 

62. MONTEITH (1702) AT VINTNERS' HALL 324 

63. CANDLESTICK, CIRCA 1680 . 325 

64. CANDLESTICK (1735) 326 

65. toilet BOX (1682) . .328 

66. CAKE BASKET (1731), BY PAUL LAMERIE . . . . . . 331 

67. ANOTHER (1749), DITTO 332 

68. MACE OF THE WAED OF CHEAP (1625) 334 

69. MACE OF THE TOWEE WAED 336 

70. MACES AT WINCHCOMBE 337 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. 



CHAPTER I. 



Preliminary— Gold — Silver — Their alloys — The English standards—The 
assay — Coloured gold — Frosted silver — A simple test for silver — 
Goldsmiths' weights — Mint prices for gold. 

Gold and silver, the best known of the noble metals, 
seem marked out by their natural beauty, their cost, 
and by the facility with which they lend themselves 
to the designs of the artist and the craftsman, as the 
appropriate materials for all the articles, whether of 
utility or ornament, that are specially devoted to the 
service of magnificence and splendour. From the earliest 
times devotion and luxury have habitually taken expres- 
sion in their use. 

The beauty and rarity of these metals having thus 
early attracted attention, it is not wonderful that the 
properties which render them so available to the work- 
man should have long been understood and appreciated. 
Their malleability, ductility, and the brilliant polish of 
which they are susceptible, have been known from time 
immemorial, and valued by every nation that has left 
any distinct mark upon the pages of history. The 
Egyptians, Assyrians, Phoenicians, Greeks, and Eomans, 
were all well acquainted with both gold and silver, and 
high authority places the vessels recently found on the 

B 



2 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. i. 

supposed site of Troy and at Mycenae amongst genuine 
relics of pre-Hellenic or, more indefinitely still, Homeric 
times. 

The early historical books of the Bible show that even 
a nomad tribe in their desert wanderings were able to 
carry the art of the goldsmith to a high state of per- 
fection fifteen centuries before the commencement of the 
Christian era. The malleability of gold must have been 
well understood by him " who did beat gold into thin 
plates " (Exod. xxxix. 3), and could " cut it into wires to 
work it into fine linen with cunning work." Adorning 
it with jewels must have been a familiar art to those 
who " wrought onyx stones enclosed in ouches of gold " 
(Exod. xxxix. 6) ; and what more like work of some 
modern artist than the candlestick wrought by the 
Israelitish smith of old, with its six branches of beaten 
work, "his shaft and his branch, his bowls, his knops, 
and his flowers of the same ; three bowls made after 
the fashion of almonds in one branch, a knop and a 
flower ; and three bowls made like almonds in another 
branch, a knop and a flower : so throughout the six 
branches going out of the candlestick " (Exod. xxxvii). 

It is unnecessary to multiply these early Biblical 
evidences — gold and silver are mentioned on every 
page; the fining pot for silver, the furnace for gold, 
and the refiner's fire are used as familiar images ; suffice 
it to say, that from the time of Joseph's cup of silver 
and Solomon's drinking vessels of gold, all the more 
costly articles of household decoration and use have 
been made of those precious metals, and that from 
the time of the ark and the tabernacle, devotion has 
lavished them upon the adornment of its shrines and 
the fabrication of utensils dedicated to the service of 
religion. 



chap, i.] GEEEK AND EOMAN PLATE. 3 

Turn we to Homer and we find the same ; the 
Kparijp, wine bowl of silver, sometimes with brim of 
gold, sometimes all gilt, stands in the entrance hall 
on a tripod ; silver wine cups are given as rewards, 
gold thread, gold plate, refined gold, gold vessels of 
every kind constantly mentioned ; Greek words com- 
pounded of ^ouo-o? (gold) and apyvpos (silver) are to 
be counted by hundreds. 

Roman homes gleamed with silver in the days of 
Horace — ridet argento domus (Hor. Od. iv. 11. 6). 
Cicero speaks of a shipload of wrought and stamped 
silver, Pliny of suppers served on pure and antique silver 
(Plin. Ep. iii. 1. 9), Virgil of libations poured out of 
golden bowls — pateris libamus et auro (Georg. ii. 192). 

Silver and gold have ever since been prized in the 
same way, and modern nations vie with the ancients 
and one another in the taste and art with which they 
apply them, and add to their beauty and value, whether 
by the aid of jewels or enamels, chasing, engraving, or 
the exquisite work that may be produced by even the 
hammer alone, wielded by skilful hands. 

Before proceeding to consider the gold and silver plate 

of our own country, and the makers' and other marks 

it is usually found to bear, and from which, as we shall 

find, it is often possible for the expert to gather much 

curious information, it will be well to note what may 

seem to be of use to the amateur and collector of old 

plate, as to the precious metals themselves and their 

alloys, and as to the modes adopted from time to time 

of ascertaining the proportion of pure gold and silver 

contained in given portions of such alloys, or articles 

made of them, not forgetting some remarks upon the 

English standards, and the weights used by the English 

goldsmiths. . And first as to gold. 

B 2 



4 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. i. 

GOLD. 

This is one of the most widely distributed of all 
metals, being found alike in volcanic rocks and alluvial 
deposits, sometimes in small masses or nuggets, but 
more often in a granular form. It is found both in 
the Old and New Worlds ; Hungary, Brazil, the Ural 
Mountains, Mexico, and Peru, have all furnished large 
quantities, but none of them anything like the amount 
supplied by California and Australia in modern times. 
According to Cernuschi, whilst its production annually 
up to 1850 was but equal to £6,000,000, it was not 
less than £36,000,000 in 1852, and since 1872 has 
averaged about £19,000,000. 

The British Isles have contributed their share, gold 
having been found in Cornwall, Wales, Scotland, and 
in the Wicklow mountains in Ireland ; we find the 
Crawford Moor district (Wanlockhead, etc., in Lanark- 
shire) once yielding no less than £100,000 of gold in 
three years' washing; and Mr. Patrick Dudgeon of 
Cargen notices a mention of gold in Scotland, in a 
grant by King David I., a.d. 1125, to the Church of 
the Holy Trinity at Dunfermline, of his tenth of all the 
gold found in Fife and some other places. 

In Wanlockhead nuggets of gold have been found, 
and gold in grains may even now be obtained, by 
washing. A piece of quartz having veins of gold in 
it was found there in 1872, and is described by Mr. 
Dudgeon. An analysis of this gold made by Professor 
A. H. Church of the Eoyal Agricultural College, Ciren- 
cester, gave him the following result, viz. — 

Gold 86*60 ) 

Silver 12'39 f 1C „ 

Iron -35 \ Sp * gl% 16 '°° 

Other substances and loss '66 ) 



chap, i.] BEITISH GOLD. 5 

A sample of Sutherlandshire gold has given the same 
analyst a smaller proportion of pure gold, viz. : 

Gold 79-22 ) lflcrt 

Silver 20-78 J Sp ' gr * 16 ' 62 

To these may be added analyses on the same high 
authority as the preceding, from each of the other 
districts mentioned above, and also one of gold from 
Ashanti by way of comparison. 



Wicklow...Gold 92-32 

Silver 6*17 

Wales Gold 90*16 

Silver 9-26 

Cornwall... Gold 90*12 

Silver 9-05 

Ashanti ...Gold 90-05 

Silver 9-94 



It will be observed that in the specimen from Ashanti 
there was found but one-hundredth part of anything 
but gold and its invariable companion, silver. 

It remains to notice the physical properties of gold, 
which are the same wherever it is found, — its great 
density and weight, its malleability, ductility, its beautiful 
yellow colour, and the brilliant polish of which it is 
susceptible. Even in its least dense state, say cast gold, 
its specific gravity is 19*25, that is to say, it is 19 J times 
heavier than water, whilst by hammering or rolling its 
specific gravity can be made up to 19*30 or even 19*40. 

Its weight is correspondingly great : a cubic inch weighs 
10*16 oz. Troy, and a cube measuring six inches every 
way will therefore weigh no less than 182*88 lbs. Troy, 
or about as much as a man can lift. Gold is so malleable 



6 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. i. 

that it can be beaten into leaves the 200^00 P ar ^ of an 
inch thick, and so ductile that a grain can be drawn into 
more than 500 feet of wire ; it is these properties that 
are of such importance to the worker in gold. 

SILVEB. 

This metal is also very widely distributed ; the chief 
sources of supply in former days were Hungary, Tran- 
sylvania, and Spain, but since the discovery of America 
an enormous quantity has come from thence, and especially 
from Peru and Mexico ; it also exists in large quantities 
in sea water. It is, however, very seldom found pure, 
being usually in combination with other substances, often 
with lead, and it is by separating silver from lead that 
a great deal of British silver is produced at the present 
time. A mention of this process is noticed by Mr. 
Dudgeon in an Act of Parliament of James I. of Scotland, 
passed in 1424. 

It has been estimated that up to 1830 silver was 
produced in threefold quantities compared with gold ; 
and if we assume that the ratio of 1 : 15^ represents the 
proportion between the value of silver and that of gold, 
then the annual production of both metals for twenty- 
four years represents £33,000,000. A specimen of 
native Cornish silver (Wheal Ludcott) has given Pro- 
fessor A. H. Church — - 



Silver 97-86 

Silver chloride ....... *71 

Gold and Antimony ......... '21 

Iron..... „ *15 

Loss, &c. 1-07 



- sp. gr. 10-26 



Silver is not so malleable as gold, although it may be 
beaten into leaves no more than the i^ooo part of an 



chap, i.] ALLOYS OF GOLD AND SILVER. 7 

inch thick, and it may be drawn into a wire finer by far 
than human hair, such is its ductility. 

Its specific gravity differs greatly from that of gold, 
being from 10*40 to 10 '60 according to circumstances, 
and the weight of a cubic inch is 5 52 oz, Troy, or not 
much more than half the weight of a similar cube of 
gold. j, 

ALLOYS. 

We have now noted what is necessary as to pure gold 
and pure silver, and the importance of some of the 
details recorded, especially those relating to their specific 
gravities, will presently be seen ; but both these metals 
when in a state of purity are too soft for the purposes 
of either coin or plate. It was therefore found necessary 
in the earliest times to employ some other metal as an 
alloy to give them the required degree of hardness 
without materially affecting their colour. 

It may be remarked in passing that the word alloy is 
usually said to be derived from the French a la loi, the 
proportion of baser metal that might be used for this 
purpose having been from very early days regulated 
by law ; but it must also be said that the word seems 
more often than not used for the mixed metal itself 
rather than for the portion of baser metal added to the 
purer gold or silver, and coupling this with the fact that 
the French express it by alliage, there is reason to think 
that the word may not impossibly be derived from 
oilier rather than d la loi. It will be found used in 
both senses in these pages. 

However this may be, the necessity of alloying pure 
gold and silver is certain, and it is found that whilst 
silver or copper are the only metals which can be usefully 
employed in forming such an alloy with gold, copper 



8 OLD ENGLISH PLATE, [chap. i. 

only can be advantageously used for the alloy with 
silver. 

The admixture of silver with gold renders the alloy 
paler and yellower than pure gold, whilst copper makes 
it more red : and in the case of silver it is found that 
the other white metals render it too brittle and not easily 
workable. The maximum hardness of an alloy of silver 
is obtained when the copper amounts to one-fifth of the 
silver, but the colour is scarcely impaired when the 
alloy consists of equal parts of the two metals, hence a 
means of committing great frauds. 

The proportions found by experience to produce the 
best results are, for gold twenty-two parts (in technical 
terms called carats) of fine or pure gold, and two parts 
of alloy ; and for silver 11 oz. 2 dwts. of fine silver and 
18 dwts. of copper in the Troy pound of 12 oz., or in 
other words, 222 parts of fine silver to 18 such parts 
of copper. If the quality of silver is given in thousandth 
parts, as is often the case, our standard silver, which 
contains in every 1000 parts 925 of fine silver, would 
be reported as 925' fine, and the higher or Britannia 
standard, which will be presently mentioned, as 959* 
fine. Standard gold, expressed in the same way, is of 
millesimal fineness 916'66. It must be added with 
regard to the estimation of the fineness of gold in carats 
that originally the Troy ounce was divided into twenty- 
four carats, and each carat into four grains, but the 
carat is now only understood to be the $\th part of the 
metal, and gold of twenty-two carats means a mixture of 
twenty-two parts of fine gold with two parts of alloy, 
gold of eighteen carats a mixture of eighteen parts of 
pure gold with six parts of alloy, and so on. 



chap, i.] THE ENGLISH STANDAEDS. 9 

THE ENGLISH STANDAEDS. 

The proportions which have been mentioned above, 
viz., for gold 22 parts or carats of fine gold and 2 parts 
of alloy, and for silver 11 oz. 2 dwts. of fine silver, 
and 18 dwts. of copper, are those which form our 
" standard " or " sterling " alloys in England, and with 
small exception this has been so since the Conquest. 
They are signified whenever the expressions " standard 
gold " and " sterling silver n are used, and they are the 
standards of the present gold and silver coin of the 
realm. The word " sterling " is no doubt derived from 
the name by which the inhabitants of Eastern Germany, 
who were called Easterlings in the twelfth and thirteenth 
centuries, were known. The purity of their money was 
famous, and it is said that coiners were fetched from 
thence to improve the quality of our own currency. 

In connection with this it may be noted, that a 
statute of 1343 (17 Edw. III.), providing that good 
"sterling" money should be made in England, also 
provides that good Flemish money shall pass current, 
but voluntarily, that is to say, its circulation was 
permitted without making its acceptance compulsory, 
nor the offer of it a legal tender. 

In many other countries besides our own, legislation 
on this subject has been found necessary or advisable, 
but as far as English plate is concerned, it is enough 
to detail the English standards, and even as regards 
these it will be convenient to reserve for the next chapter 
such more minute changes as are found to occur now 
and then in the course of the legal history of the gold- 
smith's craft. 

For the sake of clearness the following Table is 
appended, which will give at a glance a comparative 



10 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. 



[CHAP. I. 



view of the fineness of English gold and silver money, 
and gold and silver plate from time to time. 



Comparative Table of the Standard Fineness of Gold Money 
and Gold Plate. 



Gold Money. 



41 Henry III 
18 Edw. III. 



to 

12 Chas. II. 
12 Charles II 



Carats fine. 



24 carats (pure gold). 

Varied from 23 -3£ 
carats to 22 carats, 
but never lower 
than the latter, ex- 
cept vfrom 37 Hen. 
VIII. to 3 Edw. VI., 
when it was 20 
carats. 

22 carats, at which 
it has remained ever 
since. 



Gold Plate. 



28 Edward I. 

17 Edward IV. 

18 Elizabeth... 
38 George III. 

17 & 18 Vict. 



Carats fine. 



("Touch of Paris") 

19| carats. 
18 carats. 
22 carats. 
22 carats and 18 

carats. 
3 lower standards of 

15, 12, and 9 carats 

respectively added. 



Comparative Table of the Standard Fineness of Silver Money 
and Silver Plate. 



Silver Money. 



Edward I.., 



34 Hen. VIII, 

36 ditto 

37 ditto 

2 Edward VI, 
4 ditto 

6 ditto 

1 Mary 

2 Elizabeth .., 



Fine. 



Alloy. 



oz. dwts. 



oz. dwts. 



11 2 — 18 

(being sterling 

silver.) 



10 
6 



4 

6 

3 

11 

11 

11 









— 19 

— 10 

— 18 



Being sterling stan- 
dard restored, at 
which it has re- 
mained ever since. 



Silver Plate. 



28 Edward I... 
8&9 Will. Ill 

6 George I. ... 



Fine. 



Alloy. 



oz. dwts. oz. dwts. 

" As good as ster- 
ling." 
11 10 — 10 

(New sterling, or 
' ' Britannia " stan- 
dard.) 
11 2 — 18 

Being the old ster- 
ling standard re- 
stored; this and the 
above higher stan- 
dard have both re- 
mained legal stan- 
dards from 1720 to 
the present day. 



It must be understood that the standard of fineness 
remained the same from any one date in the above table, 
until the next entry occurs. 

Formerly, the standard gold of the English coinage 
was alloyed with silver as well as copper, and it was 



chap, i.] STANDAKD OE GOLD COIN. 11 

consequently of the paler yellow or greenish colour we 
notice in the case of old sovereigns, and Australian 
sovereigns up to recent years. This older mixture con- 
tained according to the standard trial plates of 1728 and 
1829 respectively, the following proportions of gold and 
alloying metals : — 

1728 1829 

Gold 91-61 91*53 

Silver 5-04 3-76 

Copper 3-35 4*65 

Since 1829 or thereabouts, copper only has been 
used as an alloy, and the specific gravity has been 
reduced from about 17*82 to 17*57 ; whilst quite 
recently even the traces of silver existing in the 
natural gold have been removed. This is effected by 
passing a stream of chlorine gas through the molten 
gold, by a process invented by Mr. F. B. Miller, which 
purifies it not only from the silver, but from other 
metals, some of them injurious to the gold if required 
for coining purposes. This process has been of late 
years extensively employed for recovering silver from 
gold, and for toughening the latter metal. The trial 
plate of 1873 shows gold 91*66 and copper 8*34. The 
specific gravity of our English standard or sterling silver 
is 10*30. 

THE ASSAY. 

Proceeding to consider the modes by which the 
fineness of the precious metals and their alloys may be 
tested, we must not forget the old story of Hiero's 
golden crown, and how it was referred to Archimedes 
to ascertain whether the suspicions of the king that 
it was alloyed with silver, were well founded. The 
picturesque account of his bath overflowing on his 



12 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. i. 

entering it, thereby suggesting to his philosophic mind 
a mode of solving the difficult problem, and of his 
flight home, forgetting even his garments in his haste, 
that he might set about it at once/ may be true, but 
certain it is that, well skilled in mechanics and hydro- 
statics, he used the means with which he was most 
familiar, and detected the fraud by means of what we 
should call the specific gravity of the metal, instead 
of by a chemical analysis, at that time not understood. 

It will be obvious that a test depending entirely 
upon the weight and bulk of the object to be examined, 
as compared with water, can only be usefully applied 
to a mass of some metal, or of mixed metals, of the 
same density throughout and free from any hollows, 
for the occurrence of any foreign substance of a different 
specific gravity, or of hollow places in the middle of a 
mass, would render its application useless. 

It is, however, not without its value, and especially 
in the case of gold, owing to the very marked difference 
between the weight of equal bulks of gold and of silver 
or copper, or a mixture of the two. A short table 
which has been compiled from figures given by a 
well-kuown professional assay er,* will show this very 
clearly : — 

1 cubic inch of pure gold.... sp.gr. 19°25 == 10*16 oz. Troy. 

1 „ pure silver ,, 10*47 = 5*52 oz. ,, 

1 ,, copper , ,, 8*72= 4*60 oz. ,, 

1 ,, 11 parts of silver and 7 of copper == 5 '16 oz. ,, 

(The usual alloy for gold.) 

1 ,, equal parts of silver and copper = 5*06 oz. „ 

The writer now quoted draws attention to the fact 
that a quantity of the last alloy mentioned in this list 
is almost exactly half the weight of an equal bulk of 



* << 



The Book of Hall Marks," by A. Lutschaunig, London, 1872. 



chap. i.J THE TOUCHSTONE. 13 

pure gold. There are two cases in which these facts 
can be made of use ; if the quality of the metal be 
known, it can be ascertained whether an article made 
of it is solid throughout, or hollow; and again, if it 
be known to be solid throughout, as for instance in 
the case of a beaten plate of metal, its specific gravity 
will readily show whether it is formed of pure gold, or of 
gold mixed with alloy. Archimedes must have satisfied 
himself that Hiero's crown was solid throughout, before 
he could have founded a decision that it was alloyed 
with silver on the fact that when immersed in a vessel 
containing water it displaced a certain greater quantity 
of water than was displaced when the same weight of 
pure gold was put into the vessel. It will of course 
be a good test for articles suspected to be plated. 

But as these early times do not immediately concern 
the present inquiry, we must pass to the mode used in 
what are called the Middle Ages, and even in more 
modern times, of testing the fineness of gold and silver 
by the touchstone, or pierre de touche. Touchstone 
or Basanite is an imperfect black jasper or black flinty 
slate, originally brought from Mount Tmolus in Lydia, 
and therefore called lapis Lydius ; it is, however, found 
in various parts of the world, and indeed any hard 
black siliceous substance, or even a piece of black 
pottery, will serve the purpose. The great Josiah 
. Wedgwood made such, stamped with w etruiua D about 
1770 or 1780. 

This mode of trying the fineness was called " touch- 
ing/' and the word obtained for a long time after the 
adoption of the chemical assay. The word " touch " 
seems to have been applied indifferently to the trial, to 
the quality of the metal tested, and to the mark im- 
pressed upon it. 



14 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. i. 

For the trial of gold, sets of touch-needles or bars 
were used, one set alloyed with copper, another with 
silver, and in some cases a third set alloyed with silver 
and copper mixed, twenty-four in each set, according to 
the twenty-four carats' fineness of gold. The streak or 
touch made on the touchstone with the piece under 
examination was compared with the streaks made by 
the needles, these streaks were also washed with aqua- 
fortis, which dissolving the alloying metals, left the 
gold pure, and by the comparison its fineness was 
determined. 

For testing silver, sets of needles were also used. In 
Germany the set consisted of sixteen, after the sixteen 
loihs according to which the standard of fineness was 
there computed, but doubtless the number varied in 
different countries according to the computation of the 
standard. In skilful hands much information could be 
derived from the sensations of greasiness or dryness, 
roughness or smoothness, imparted by the stroke; but 
this test has been little used for many centuries, and it 
could never have been a satisfactory mode of ascertaining 
the purity of silver, into which so much copper could be 
introduced without materially affecting its colour, though 
it is probable that the hardness of the alloy aided in the 
detection of fraud. The " touch," however, long con- 
tinued the mode of trying gold, and indeed is even used 
at the present day for rough examinations. 

The period at which the chemical assay or assay by 
the cupel was first introduced is not exactly known, but 
it was certainly practised in the thirteenth century, and, 
as we shall see, was the mode of examination adopted 
by the authorities in the fourteenth century. In the 
latter it was practised at Montpellier in France, a city 
famous for its goldsmiths. 



chap. I.] ASSAY BY THE CUPEL. 15 

In the following chapter we shall come to definite 
mention of the " assay " in 1300, which is early enough 
for our purpose. 

The process of the assay in contradistinction to the 
touch is as follows : — for gold, to a portion of metal 
scraped off the article to be examined, say about eight 
grains, after being accurately weighed, is added three 
times its weight of silver, and a proper proportion of 
lead, the latter by wrapping the gold and silver in a 
piece of sheet lead. The whole is placed in a small 
shallow porous crucible made of bone ashes, called a cupel, 
and exposed to a bright -red heat ; the metals melt, and 
whilst the silver and gold combine, the lead and alloying 
metals become oxydised, and the oxides are absorbed by 
the cupel, leaving a button of pure gold and silver. 
This button is then flattened, rolled out into a strip, 
which is then coiled into a sort of screw, called a 
" cornet ; " this is placed in hot diluted nitric acid, by 
which the silver is dissolved and the gold alone remains, 
the cornet is then treated with stronger nitric acid, 
washed, and lastly made red-hot ; when cold it is 
weighed again, and the difference between its present 
weight and the original weight of the scrapings carefully 
determined. For silver the process is much the same : 
a certain portion, usually about ten or twenty grains, is 
scraped off the article, some being taken from each 
separate part ; this is wrapped in lead of proportionate 
weight, and the whole heated on the cupel. The result is 
the same as in the case of gold, except that the resulting 
button is of pure silver only ; the difference between the 
weight of this button and the original weight of the 
portion operated upon, shows the amount of alloy. 

Of this process a minutely-detailed account is given 
in a small book published in 1675, called "A Touchstone 



16 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. i. 

for Gold and Silver Wares," and the process is now 
carried on at Goldsmiths' Hall in precisely the same 
manner as then, even to the mode of folding up the 
papers to contain the scrapings of the metal to be 
assayed. If the article examined is found to be of 
the required fineness, the marks are stamped on it with 
punches ; but if the metal is not of the proper quality, 
the article is crushed, and so delivered back to the 
maker. It is scarcely credible that every separate part 
of every separate article made of gold or silver (with the 
few exceptions that will appear later) in this country, go 
through this process of examination, either in London 
or in one of the provincial assay-towns, but such is 
the fact ; and the public are greatly indebted to the 
companies of goldsmiths, and especially to the great 
London guild, for the effectual protection afforded by 
their vigilance against the frauds which prevailed in 
earlier times. 

There is yet another mode of testing silver, an account 
of which has been partly taken from Brande and Cox's 
a Dictionary of Science, Literature, and Art," together 
with some of the notes which follow it. This mode, the 
assay of silver in the humid way, may be adopted where 
the quality of the alloy is approximately known. The 
process depends upon the precipitation of the silver by a 
standard solution of common salt, each 1000 grains of 
which contain a sufficient quantity of salt to precipitate 
ten grains of silver, so that supposing the silver and the 
salt to be pure, ten grains of silver dissolved in nitric 
acid would be entirely precipitated by 1000 grains of 
the standard solution. The process is as simple as that 
of assaying by the cupel. The metal scrapings after 
being weighed are put into a small bottle and dissolved 
in nitric acid, to this solution is then added the standard 



chap, i.] FEOSTED SILVER 17 

solution of salt, as long as it produces cloudiness ; at 
the moment when no further change occurs, the number of 
measures of salt solution used is read off, and the fine- 
ness of the alloy determined with great accuracy by the 
amount of the standard solution of salt which has been 
required to precipitate completely the silver from its 
solution; thus supposing we were operating upon fine 
silver, we should have used 1000 such measures, but 
with the same weight of sterling silver, say silver coin, 
925 only would have been required. 

It may be that assaying by means of the spectroscope 
may some day supersede these older methods, but the 
experiments which have been made as yet in this direc- 
tion have only served to show that in the present state 
of science, little or no practical use can be made of this 
beautiful instrument for assaying purposes. 

Enough has now been said about processes, which 
after all can only be carried out by expert hands, and 
we may pass on to a few notes of general utility belong- 
ing to the chemical part of the subject, referring those 
whom the subject of practical assaying may interest to 
the standard works on Metallurgy. 

A word will be expected about the " frosted " silver, 
and what is called the " coloured " gold that is so often 
seen in the windows of the goldsmiths' shops ; and first, 
what is "coloured gold?" It is metal from the immediate 
surface of which the copper or other alloy has been re- 
moved, so as to leave an outer coat of pure gold. An 
article treated in this way has all the appearance of being 
made of purer gold than it is, but the coating of fine gold 
is one of almost inconceivable thinness, " not thicker," 
says Mr. Lutschaunig, " than the hundredth part of the 
breadth of a hair. It is the same as if the article were 
gilt or electro-plated, only that in the one instance the 



18 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. t. 

alloy is taken out of the gold on the surface, leaving the 
pure gold, and that in the other the gold is put on. 
Any gold over nine carats can be coloured by boiling in 
nitric acid, or other preparation acting in the same 
manner." "Frosted" silver is silver similarly dealt 
with. If silver mixed with copper, our own standard 
silver for example, be heated to a dull red heat in air, it 
becomes of a black colour from the formation of a film of 
oxide of copper, and if this be removed by its being 
dipped in hot diluted sulphuric acid, the silver becomes 
of the beautiful white appearance called " frosted " silver, 
owing to a film of pure silver being left on its immediate 
surface. We find the celebrated London silversmith of 
the last century, Paul Lamerie, who died in 1751, 
directing in his will that all the plate in hand at the 
time of his death should be " forthwith finished and 
made fit for sale by being boiled and burnished/' New 
coins owe their brilliancy to this mode of treatment 
before being struck, the darker appearance of their pro- 
jecting parts after some wear is occasioned by the alloy 
showing through the pure surface. Articles of plate 
may also be deadened, matted, or frosted by being 
boiled in bi-sulphate of potash, which acts in the same 
way as the diluted sulphuric acid. 

The bad quality of the silver of which base coin or 
any other article of base metal is made may be detected 
immediately by the use of a solution of common nitrate 
of silver. If thirty grains of this salt be dissolved in an 
ounce of distilled water, and a drop or two of the 
solution be placed upon the suspected coin or metal, a 
brown or black film or spongy mass of metallic silver 
will appear in the case of base metal, and its quantity 
will form a rough measure of the degree of baseness. 



chap. I.] ENGLISH GOLDSMITHS' WEIGHTS. 19 

GOLDSMITHS' WEIGHTS. 

In former times the Tower pound, or pois d'orfevres, 
the old pound sterling of silver, was used by the gold- 
smiths, and in the earlier inventories, such as those of 
the Treasury of the Exchequer and in the Wardrobe 
Accounts, the weight of articles of plate is recorded in 
such pounds, and in marks, shillings, and pence for sub- 
divisions. This ancient pound was equal to 5400 grains 
Troy, and was divided into twenty shillings, and these 
last into twelve pence or pennyweights ; the mark was 
two-thirds of the Tower pound. 

These, however, ceased to be legal mint weights in 
the reign of Henry VIII. They had long before that 
fallen out of common use, but in 1526-7 (18 Henry VIII.) 
the Tower pound was abolished by royal proclamation. 
The Troy pound then substituted for the Tower pound 
is said to have been introduced into England as early as 
the great French wars of the reign of Edward III., or 
perhaps earlier, and its name was no doubt derived from 
the French town of Troyes, where a celebrated fair was 
held. It has been used ever since by the trade of gold- 
smiths for all gold and silver wares in England, but as 
its subdivisions are not so commonly known as the 
avoirdupois weights of commercial life, it will be useful 
to give in addition to a table of the Troy weights, a table 
by which the weight of plate as ascertained by the 
ordinary domestic avoirdupois scale, may be easily and 
quickly converted into the Troy reckoning by which it 
would have to be valued or sold. 

TEOY WEIGHTS. 

24 grains = 1 dwt. (pennyweight). 
480 grains = 20 dwts. = 1 oz. (ounce). 
5760 grains = 240 dwts. = 12 oz. = 1 lb. (pound). 

c 2 



20 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. i. 

AVOIKDUPOIS WEIGHTS. 

437 1 grains = 1 oz. 
7000 grains = 16 oz. = 1 lb. 

The grain is the same in both cases. 
Comparative Table oe Troy and Avoirdupois Weights. 



Avoirdupois. 


Troy. 


Avoirdupois. 


Troy. 




i oz. = — 


4dwts.l3f gr. 


8 oz. =7 oz. 


5dwts.20 gr 


2 55 — ■ 


9 „ 2| „ 


9 „ = 8 „ 


4 


55 


n „ 


1 „ = ~ 


18 ,, o\ „ 


10 „ = 9 5} 


2 


55 


1 ,. 


2 oz. = 1 oz. 


16dwts.ll gr. 


11 „ = 10 „ 





55 


12* „ 


3 „ =2 „ 


4 „ 6| „ 


12 „ = 10 „ 


18 


5' 


18 „ 


4 55 = 3 ,, 


12 „ 22 „ ■ 


13 „ =11 „ 


16 


5 5 


23J „ 


5 „ =4 „ 


11 „ H „ 


14 „ = 12 „ 


15 


55 


5 „ 


6 „ = 5 „ 


"55 "55 


15 „ = 13 „ 


13 


55 


101 H 


7 55 = 6 ,, 


7 „ 141 ?J 
175 oz. Troy = 1£ 


16 „ = 14 „ 
)2 oz. Avoirdupois. 


11 


55 


16 „ 



The weights of articles of plate are always given in 
ounces and pennyweights ; thus 5 lbs. 5 oz. 5 dwts. 
would be called 65 oz. 5 dwts. It will be convenient 
also to remember that a pound Troy of standard gold is 
coined in England into 46 ff sovereigns, and a pound 
Troy of sterling silver into 66 shillings. New silver 
coins, therefore, to the amount of 5s. 6d. will weigh an 
ounce Troy, and could be used at that rate as a sub- 
stitute for ordinary weights on an emergency. 

MINT PEICES FOE GOLD. 

Lastly, dividing the number of sovereigns contained 
in one pound Troy of standard gold by twelve, the value 
of an ounce of such gold (22 carat) will be found to be 
£3 17s. I0^d., or Ss. 6\d. for each 2 \ part (or carat) of 
fine gold in the ounce weight. The following table 
gives the value per ounce of all the other qualities of 
gold that it has been necessary to mention, at this Mint 
price. 



chap, i.] MINT PEIOES FOR GOLD. 21 

£ s. d. 

24 carats (or pure gold) 4 4 11^ per oz. 

23 car. 3^ gr. (old gold coin. See table, p. 10) 4 4 6| 

22 car. (present gold coin and first goldware standard) 3 17 10^ 
20 car. (gold coin temp. Henry VIII. See table, p. 10, 

and an Irish standard) 3 10 9^ 

191 car. (touch of Paris. See table, p. 10) 3 7 Hi 

18 car. (second goldware standard) 3 3 8^- 

15 car. (third ditto) , 2 13 1 

12 car. (fourth ditto) 2 2 5f 

9 car. (fifth ditto) 1 11 10J 



CHAPTER II. 

The mediaeval guilds of goldsmiths in France and England — The Gold- 
smiths' Company of London — Eegulations of the Goldsmiths' Guild 
at Montpellier — Charters of the London goldsmiths and early legis- 
lation relating to them and their marks — The Coronation Eegalia — 
The banker- goldsmiths — Legislation from the time of Charles II. — 
Table of London marks. 

There are no articles in the manufacture of which 
such extensive frauds can be committed in so small a 
compass as in those made of the precious metals, and 
there are no frauds more difficult of detection by ordinary 
persons. We have seen, too, that whilst a certain 
amount of base metal must needs be introduced into all 
such articles, it is only by a minute scientific examination 
that the proportion of base metal so introduced can be 
known for certain, and but few persons can possess either 
the skill or the means to conduct the necessary operations. 
The great profit to be made by fraudulent practices, the 
difficulty of detection, and the consequent probability of 
escape from it and from punishment, have at all times 
exposed the dishonest workman to irresistible tempta- 
tions. In very early times, those who carried on parti- 
cular trades or handicrafts were accustomed to form 
themselves into guilds or fraternities for the purpose of 
protecting and regulating the trade, or mystery as it was 
called, which they exercised. These were at subsequent 
periods incorporated by royal charters, which gave them 
power and authority to carry out these objects more 
effectually. Amongst such associations, those of the gold- 



CHAP. II.] 



EAELY GOLDSMITHS' GUILDS. 



23 



smiths seem to have been early formed in many countries 
of Europe. In 1260 it became necessary for the provost 
of Paris to issue a code of statutes for the regulation of 
the goldsmiths, who already existed there as a corporate 
body. Not only was gold of an inferior quality sub- 
stituted for good gold, but articles made of laten 
were gilt and palmed off for gold, arid pewter was 
silvered and sold for the genuine metal. In these 
statutes, gold is ordered to be of " the touch of Paris," 
and silver as good as " Sterlings " (esterlins), which was 
the standard of the English coin, as we have seen. In 
1300 the mark of Paris was known even abroad, for it 
is referred to in the English Wardrobe Accounts of that 
year (28 Edw. I.) in these terms : — 

" 8 coclear' argenti signata in collo signo Parisius, 
sciit, de quodam flore glegelli." 

A second and more extensive code was issued by John 
II. of France, in 1355, when it was ordered that every 
goldsmith who was approved by the masters of the 
craft should have a puDcheon with a countermark of his 
own. Amongst other things they were forbidden to work 
in gold unless it be of the touch of Paris, or better, and 
the statutes add that this standard is better than all the 
gold which they work in other lands (en mille terres), 
and that its fineness is nineteen and one-fifth carats. 
They are also forbidden to work in base metal, to use 
false stones of glass, or to put coloured foil beneath real 
stones. Their silver was to be argent de roy, 11 deniers 
12 grains fine,* and jurors (prudhommes) were appointed 



* Denier was the term used in 
France to denote the fineness of 
silver as carat is for gold. The 
silver is divided into twelve deniers, 
and each denier into two oboles or 



twenty-four grains ; hence silver of 
twelve deniers was pure, and eleven 
deniers one obole had only one 
twenty- fourth part alloy. This 
quality was the Argent de Boy. 



24 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. ii. 

to guard the trade, with power to punish those who 
worked in bad metal. At Montpellier the goldsmiths in 
the fourteenth century constituted a fraternity governed 
by statutes, and they had a standard of their own, which, 
however, does not seem to have been a high one, since 
silver might contain one-third part of alloy, or such silver 
as would come white out of the fire, and gold of fourteen 
carats fine might be worked. They were expressly for- 
bidden to manufacture articles in gilt or silvered copper 
or brass, save ornaments and utensils for churches, to 
mount real stones in jewellery of base metal, or to set 
false stones in gold or silver. We shall presently see how 
much light the history of the goldsmiths of Montpellier 
throws upon that of their English brethren. 

At Nuremburg and Augsburg, cities most famous for 
their metal workers, as well as in many other places, 
similar guilds of goldsmiths, regulated by statutes, existed. 

In England a fraternity or guild of goldsmiths had 
existed from an early period, for in 1180, the twenty- 
sixth year of the reign of Henry II., it was amongst 
other guilds amerced for being adulterine, that is, set up 
without the king's licence. It was not, however, incor- 
porated by charter for nearly a hundred and fifty years 
after this time, although it had special duties assigned to 
it, one of the duties of the wardens of the craft being to 
protect their trade against fraudulent workers by holding 
official examinations of the above-mentioned kinds, and 
placing marks upon articles so examined. 

Some such marks must have been necessary in order 
to certify to the purchaser, and for other purposes, a 
certain standard purity of metal in articles so examined, 
and the official stamps by which it was certified seem to 
have been the origin of the marks which are found on the 
gold and silver plate of most countries. 



chap. ii.Q OEIGIN OF HALL MAEKS. 25 

Every person who is possessed of any article of gold or 
silver plate, has, most probably, observed a small group 
of marks stamped upon some part of it. Few, perhaps, 
have regarded them in any other light than as a proof 
that the article so marked is made of the metal of which 
it is professed to be made, and that the metal itself is 
of a certain purity. And this is, in fact, the ultimate 
intention of these marks, but besides this the archaeo- 
logist can often deduce from them other important and 
interesting information as to the year in which any 
article bearing them was made, the place at which it was 
made, or at all events, assayed, the maker s name, and 
other particulars. As regards England, an historical 
notice of the Goldsmiths' Company of London and its 
charters, and the legislation which from time to time 
has regulated the trade of the goldsmith, will elucidate 
in its course the meaning of all the marks to be found 
on English plate. 

Some notes of the provincial guilds and assay offices, 
including those of Scotland and Ireland, and of their 
respective marks, will be reserved for separate chapters. 

Except for the early trace of a guild in 1180, which 
has already been noticed, we have to wait until the com- 
mencement of the thirteenth century before we come to 
any definite regulation of the mystery of the goldsmiths 
of London, and even then their formal incorporation had 
not yet taken place. However, by this time they were 
a numerous and powerful craft, for in an affray which 
occurred in 1267 between the goldsmiths and the tailors, 
those trades met and fought to the number of 500 men 
on each side, of whom some were killed, the dead 
being, it is said, thrown into the Thames, and others 
wounded before the bailiffs of the city could part them 
and apprehend the ringleaders, some of whom were 



26 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. 



[CHAP. II. 



hanged. 4 '' But, truth to say, their turbulence was not their 
only failing, for the frauds that seemed so common in 
France had their place also in England, and by the year 
1238 were of such extent as to call for a mandate from the 
king, to be found in the Close Kolls of that year.f This, 
which is entitled " De aurofabricando in civitate London- 
iarum" commands the mayor and aldermen to choose 
six of the more discreet goldsmiths of the city, who were 
to superintend the craft, seeing that no craftsman 
worked any gold of which a mark was not worth a hun- 
dred shillings at least, nor any silver of less intrinsic 
value than the king's money — " quod non valeat in se 
quantum valeat moneta Regis" They were also to pre- 
vent any one working in secret, or anywhere but in the 
public street, to see that gold bore no colour but its own, 
except in the case of gold thread, and that no one put 
gold upon laton or copper. There are also provisions as 
to the use of precious and counterfeit stones. 

Fifty years later, the first actual statute on the subject, 
passed in 1300, recognizes these discreet goldsmiths by 
the name of wardens, and for the first time, establishes 
their powers on a firm basis, ordaining as follows, viz. (28 
Edward I. cap. 20) :— " That no goldsmith should make 
any article of gold or silver unless it be of good and true 
alloy, i.e., gold of the standard of the touch of Paris 
(tuche de Parys) and silver of the sterling alloy of the 
coin, or better (argent del alloy de le esterling ou de 
meilleur). That all articles should be assayed by the 
warden of the craft, and marked with the leopard's head 
(e qele soit signee de une teste de leopart). That the 



* Chronicles of the Mayor and 
Sheriffs of London, edited by H. T. 
Riley, London, 1863. Such affrays 
are also mentioned in Herbert's 



" History of the London Livery 
Companies." 

t Close Boll, 22 Henry III., m. 
, 6. 



chap, ii.] INCOEPOEATION OF GOLDSMITHS' COMPANY. 27 

wardens (gardiens) should go from shop to shop (de 
shope en shope) among the goldsmiths and assay 
(assaient) the gold, and all that they should find of 
lower standard should be forfeit to the King. That no 
false stones should be set in gold, and that all the good 
towns of England where any goldsmith be dwelling shall 
be ordered according to this Estatute as they of London 
be, and that one shall come from every good town for 
all the residue that be dwelling in the same unto London 
for to be ascertained of their Touch. " 

Here, then, we have mention, not only of wardens of 
the craft, but of an assay and of a distinct mark for 
standard metal. Mr. Octavius Morgan notes that the 
phraseology of this statute more than suggests that such 
a mark was now ordered for the first time, it being 
termed "une teste." This is indeed an important step in 
the history of which we are tracing the course. It is the 
earliest mention, too, of an assay. 

Now that the duty of the wardens is laid down, we 
have naturally not long to wait for the incorporation of 
a Goldsmiths' guild in London, and in 1327 it was so 
incorporated by letters patent from Edward III., under 
the name of " The Wardens and Commonalty of the 
Mystery of Goldsmiths of the City of London." 

This charter, which is in old French, and is given at 
length, both in French and English, in Herbert's 
" History of the London Livery Companies," states that 
the goldsmiths had by their petition exhibited to the 
King and Council in Parliament holden at Westminster, 
shown that theretofore no private merchants or strangers 
were wont to bring into this land any money coined, but 
plate of silver to exchange for our coin ; that it had been 
ordained that all of the trade of goldsmiths were to sit in 
their shops in the High-street of Cheap, and that no 



28 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. 11. 

silver or gold plate ought to be sold in the city of 
London except in the King's Exchange or in Cheap, 
among the goldsmiths, and that publicly, to the end that 
persons in the trade might inform themselves whether 
the seller came lawfully by it ; but that of late both 
private merchants and strangers bring from foreign lands 
counterfeit sterling whereof the pound is not worth 
sixteen sols of the right sterling, and of this money none 
can know the right value but by melting it down ; and 
that many of the trade of goldsmiths do keep shops in 
obscure streets, and do buy vessels of gold and silver 
secretly without inquiring whether such vessels were 
stolen or come lawfully by, and immediately melting 
it down, make it into plate, and sell it to merchants 
trading beyond sea, and so make false work of gold, 
silver, and jewels, in which they set glass of divers 
colours, counterfeiting right stones, and put more alloy 
in their silver than they ought, which they sell to such 
as have no skill in such things ; that the cutlers cover 
tin with silver so subtilely and with such sleight that 
the same cannot be discovered nor separated, and so sell 
the tin for fine silver, to the great damage and deceipt of 
us and our people ; we with the assent of our lords 
spiritual and temporal, and the commons of our realme, 
will and grant for us and our heirs that henceforth no 
one shall bring into this land any sort of money, but 
only plate of fine silver, and that no plate of gold or 
silver be sold to sell again, or be carried out of the 
kingdom, but shall be sold openly for private use ; that 
none of the trade shall keep any shop except in Cheap, 
that it may be seen that their work be good ; that those 
of the trade may by virtue of these presents elect honest 
and sufficient men, best skilled in the trade, to inquire 
of the matters aforesaid, and that they who are so 



chap, ii.] THEIR FIRST CHARTER. 29 

chosen reform what defects they shall find, and inflict 
punishment on the offenders, and that by the help of the 
mayor and sheriffs, if need be; that in all trading cities 
in England where goldsmiths reside, the same ordinance 
be observed as in London, and that one or two of every 
such city or town for the rest of the trade shall come to 
London to be ascertained of their touch of gold, and to 
have their works marked with the puncheon of the 
leopard's head as it was anciently ordained. 

For some years they were governed by the provisions 
of this charter, but in 1363 further legislation became 
necessary, and by an act of that year (37 Edward III. 
cap. 7) it was ordained that no goldsmith should work 
any gold or silver but of the alloy of good sterling {alloy 
de bon esterlyng) ; that every master goldsmith should 
have a mark by himself which should be known by them 
who should be assigned to survey their work ; that the 
goldsmiths should not set their mark till their work was 
assayed ; and that after the assay made, the surveyor 
should set the king's mark upon it, and that then the 
goldsmith should set his mark for which he should 
answer ; that no goldsmith should charge for silver 
vessel but Is. 6d. for the pound of two marks as at 
Paris ; that no silversmith should meddle with gilding ; 
and that no gilder should work in silver. This brings 
us another stage, and introduces us to a maker's mark 
for the first time in England. We have a standard mark 
since 1300, and now a maker's mark dating from 1363. 

It is pretty clear that in the fourteenth century, owing 
to the frauds committed, a great move was made 
throughout Europe with respect to goldsmiths, France 
and perhaps Montpellier taking the lead. 

Turn we therefore, by the way, to Montpellier, of 
whose history the "Publications de la Societe Archeo- 



30 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. ii. 

logique de Montpellier " give many interesting particu- 
lars, and we find that by 1355 a dispute which had 
arisen between the consuls of the town and the gold- 
smiths, in consequence of the great abuses introduced 
into the trade of the latter, led to the following regula- 
tions of that year : — 

That all vessels and works of silver made by the 
argentiers of Montpellier must be of the standard of 
eleven deniers and one obole or twelve grains, at the 
least* The goldsmiths were to make two patterns or 
trial pieces of silver, of the standard of eleven deniers 
fourteen grains, marked with the puncheon of Montpellier 
(for Philippe le Hardi had, in 1275, ordained that each 
city should have a particular mark for works in silver), 
after which the goldsmiths should work with an allow- 
ance of two grains. One of these trial pieces should be 
kept at the consulate, and the other by the warden of the 
goldsmiths. That a third trial piece shall be made of 
eleven deniers and one obole, also marked, which should 
remain with the consuls for trial with suspected works. 
Every master silversmith should mark with a particular 
mark the pieces of his work, and deliver them himself to 
the warden. The warden, before marking the piece 
with the puncheon of Montpellier, should remove a 
portion of the silver, called, in the language of Mont- 
pellier, " borihl " (a technical term for a portion of metal 
removed with a buril, burin or graver, for the purpose of 
the assay), which he should put into a box, keeping a 
separate box for each workman, and once or twice a 
year make an assay of these " borihls," and if the 
standard was found below the eleven deniers one obole 
they should denounce the worker to the consuls, who 



* See note, p. 23. 



chap, ii.] ORDINANCES OF MONTPELLIEE. 31 

should make a second assay, and if they found the fraud 
confirmed, should deliver him over to justice. . Moreover 
the wardens might break such articles as seemed to them 
insufficient. In the original documents nothing is said 
of the method of performing the operation of the assay ; 
but as it is expressly ordered that in assaying the trial 
pieces and "borihls" the same ashes (probably bone 
ashes to form the crucible), lead and fire should be used, 
it is clear that the assay was by the cupel. 

Nothing had hitherto been done or said about gold ; 
but though less worked than silver there were equal 
abuses; and in 1401 the consuls and wardens of the 
mystery, assisted by several argen tiers, made a regula- 
tion in presence of the consuls of the city, by which 
the standard of gold, which originally was only fourteen 
carats and had by a subsequent decree been raised to 
eighteen carats, was now reduced to sixteen carats ; and 
there is here a question of the trial of gold by the 
" touch," showing that it was then in use. 

In the fifteenth century abuses and frauds in the 
trade had greatly multiplied. Public clamour was 
raised against the principal silversmiths for working 
below the standard of 1355. A process was instituted 
against them in 1427. The consuls seized several of 
their works, had them assayed, found them fraudulent^ 
and made them appear before the tribunal. In their 
defence they pleaded that the ordinances of 1355 were 
obsolete with regard to small " orfevreries." They were 
condemned to pay a fine of ten marks of silver each, 
and on appeal the sentence was confirmed. They 
claimed exemption from marking girdles and small 
works. An inquest was held, and the following ordi- 
nances resulted, which were solemnly renewed in 1436 
with still stricter conditions, and they show with what 



32 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. 



[CHAP. II. 



care the fabrication of works of gold and silver was 
regulated. To ensure the legal standard they ordained, 
besides the ordinary precaution of the box, the " borihls," 
the trial pieces, and the name of the silversmith, that 
the name of the warden of the mystery, inscribed on 
the register of the city and on the private book of the 
silversmiths, should be followed by one of the letters of 
the alphabet, which should be reproduced beneath the 
shield of arms (ecusson) of the town on each work, in 
order that it might be known under what warden it 
was made. These proceedings of the goldsmiths of 
Montpellier are highly interesting, since they not only 
give us an account of the frauds and the alteration of 
the standard, together with the particulars of the assay, 
which in its system with the box and trial pieces bears 
a very strong analogy to our trial of the Pyx,* but also 
give us the date, origin and establishment of three very 
important marks, viz. the mark of the country or city, 
the mark of the maker, and the annual letter, two of 



* The important duty of testing 
the purity of the coinage from time 
to time has been intrusted for ages 
to the Goldsmiths' Company. The 
ceremony of doing this has been con- 
ducted with the same formalities 
from time immemorial, and is called 
' ' The trial of the Pyx. " Such a trial 
is known to have taken place in 9 & 
10 Edw. I., and it has been held at 
short but irregular intervals ever 
since ; it is now an annual event. 
A specimen coin, taken formerly 
from each "journey" or day's work, 
but in modern days from each 
melting of metal, whether gold or 
silver, is placed in a chest kept at 
the Mint, called the Pyx. At the 
proper time a jury of the Gold- 
smiths' Company is summoned, 



who after being sworn and so- 
lemnly charged, proceed to an assay 
of the coins found in the Pyx, and 
to compare their quality with the 
standard trial plates in the custody 
of the Warden of the Standards. 
Their verdict is the deliverance of 
the authorities of the Mint, who are 
virtually placed upon their trial. 
Since the Coinage Act of 1870, the 
proceedings have been somewhat 
shorn of their circumstance, owing 
to the jury being summoned to 
Goldsmiths' Hall, and there charged 
by the Queen's Bemembrancer, in- 
stead of by the Lord Chancellor 
himself at Westminster, where the 
assay was formerly conducted, in 
an apartment specially prepared for 
the purpose. 



chap, ii.] CHARTERS OF THE GOLDSMITHS' COMPANY. 33 

which we had already adopted in this country, whilst 
the use of the third, the annual letter, was soon to be 
established. 

If we may turn aside for a moment to see how the 
goldsmiths put their powers into actual use, we gather 
that their original charter must have served its purpose 
to some extent. Proceedings taken against one Peter 
Randolfe, a Latoner, may serve to show that it was at 
all events not a dead letter in 1376, for upon interroga- 
tion for exposing two circlets for mazers of mixed silver, 
we find him promising not to interfere with the gold- 
smiths' trade again. * 

The names of many of the great London goldsmiths 
of this generation are known. Thomas Hessey was the 
king's goldsmith in 1366, and Nicholas Twyford held 
the same office shortly afterwards ; the latter is men- 
tioned in accounts of 1379. The names of John de 
Chichester and Thomas Eeynham, John Hiltoft and 
also his executors, all occur in the Wardrobe Accounts 
as enjoying royal patronage between this time and the 
end of the century. The great goldsmith, Sir Drew 
Barentyn, who died in 1415, was a man of more than 
civic note. 

Here, however, the charter of Edward III. was found 
insufficient for want of proper persons being named in 
it; therefore Eichard II. in 1394 re-incorporated them 
by another charter confirming the first and giving 
them power to choose wardens and other officers. 

Edward IY. in 1462 not only confirmed the charter 
of Richard II., but constituted the Goldsmiths' Com- 
pany a body corporate and politic, with perpetual 



* Riley's "Memorials of Lon- 1 XIV. and XV. centuries." Lon- 
don and London Life in the XIII., | don, 1868, p. 398. 



D 



34 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. ii. 

succession, power to use a common seal, hold lands, etc., 
and by this charter invested them with a privilege of 
inspecting, trying, and regulating all gold and silver 
wares, not only in the city of London, but also in all 
other parts of the kingdom, with power to punish 
offenders for working adulterated gold or silver. These 
powers were continually exercised, and from the records 
of the Company it appears that periodical progresses 
through the country were made by the assay-wardens 
for that purpose. Several kings at various times have 
given them new charters, enlarging and confirming the 
older ones. The latest is an Inspeximus of James I., 
which recites and confirms all those previously granted. 
The guild thus incorporated is now one of the greatest 
and wealthiest of the City Companies, and one to which 
the archaeologist and antiquary are indebted for the 
ready information and assistance it has given to those 
who have from time to time sought permission to 
consult its records, which, commencing about 1331, are 
carried down to the present day. They consist of the 
wardens' accounts, which begin in that year and amount 
to many large volumes, the ordinances, and other books 
relating to their estates, all of which contain curious 
and interesting particulars. The members of the fra- 
ternity were originally all goldsmiths, as mentioned in 
their first charter, and the Company is governed by a 
Prime Warden, three other wardens, and twenty-one 
assistants, with a livery of 150 members, exclusive of 
honorary members and members by special grant. The 
wardens are now annually elected on May 29th ; pre- 
viously, however, to the Eestoration, in compliance with 
their ordinances, St. Dunstan's Day, being that of their 
patron saint, was their proper day of election. On the 
day of election, when the new Prime Warden enters 



chap, ii.] OEDINANCES OF THE GOLDSMITHS' COMPANY. 35 

upon the duties of his office, the new punches for the 
marks having been prepared are delivered by him to 
the officers of the Assay Office. Formerly the old 
punches were all preserved, but not many years ago 
the accumulation being very great and found incon- 
venient, it was considered that such a mass of old iron 
was useless, and they were destroyed. It is much to be 
regretted that impressions were not taken of them on a 
copper-plate previous to their destruction, though it is 
hardly probable that there were any earlier than the 
time of the fire of London in 1666. 

The ordinances or statutes of the Company are con- 
tained in a fine MS. on vellum, with illuminated initial 
letters. It is therein stated that " thys boke was 
made and ordeynyd by Hugh Bryce, Altherman, Henry 
Coote, Mylys Adys, and Willy am Palmer, wardens, the 
xx day of September in the yere of our lorde god 
mcccclxxvhj and in the xviu yere of the Eeigne of 
King Edward the fourth. Humfrey Hay ford then 
Mayre of the Cyte of london, John Stokker and Henry 
Colett, Sheryffys of the same Cyte." The index of the 
same volume is further described as follows : " Thys 
Kalendar was made and ordeynyd for this boke by 
Henry Coote, Stephyn Kelke, John Ernest, and Alen 
Newman, wardens, the last day of August in the yere 
of oure lorde god mcccclxxxiij and in the ffurst yere of 
the Eeygne of king Kichard the thiyd. Sir Edmond 
Shaa, Knyght, then Mayre of the Cyte of london, 
Willia Whyte and John Mathew, Sheryffys of the same 
Cyte." 

It contains first the oaths for the wardens and 
officers ; and secondly the ordinances for the govern- 
ment of the Company, which chiefly consist of regula- 
tions for the masters of the craft and the taking, 

D 2 



36 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. ii. 

keeping, and conduct of apprentices ; but also " for the 
working of gold and silver to the standard, and how it 
shall be delivered." The following may be quoted as 
examples : — 

" Also it is ordeyned that no goldsmith of England, 
nor nowhere else within the realme, work no manner 
of vessel nor any other thing of gold nor silver, but if 
it be of the verry alloy according to the standard of 
England, called sterling money or better." 

"That no manner of vessel nor any other thing be 
borne out from the hands of the workers nor sold till 
it be assayed by the wardens of the craft or their 
deputy, the assayer ordained therefore, and that it be 
marked with the lyperde's head crowned according to 
the acts of diverse parliaments, and the mark of- the 
maker thereof." 

No worker was to be a freeman of the Company 
until he had been apprenticed seven years ; and the 
ordinances were to be read publicly on St. Dunstan's 
Day. At the end of the book are some additional 
ordinances of the year 1507, being the twenty-second 
of Henry VIL, by which it was provided that no 
goldsmith should put to sale any vessel or other work 
of gold or silver until he had set his mark upon it ; 
that he should take it to the assay house of the Hall 
of the Goldsmiths to be assayed by the assayer, who 
should set his mark upon it, and should deliver it to 
the warden, who should set on it the leopard's head 
crowned. 

Again, in another MS. book on vellum which has the 
arms of the Goldsmiths' Company emblazoned on the 
first page, and contains ordinances date July 5th, 1513, 
being the fifth year of Henry VIII. , we find that it is 
ordained that before any work of gold or silver is put 



chap, ii.] ORDINANCES OF THE GOLDSMITHS' COMPANY. 37 

to sale the maker shall set on it his own mark, that it 
shall be assayed by the assayer who shall set on it his 
mark, and that the wardens shal] mark it with the 
leopard's head crowned. 

Here then in both these sets of ordinances we have 
three distinct marks mentioned : the maker's, the 
assayer's, and the leopard's head, or king's mark. 
What this assayer's mark was we are not definitely 
told, but it must almost necessarily be the annual 
letter, now therefore to be added to the leopard's head 
of 1300 and the maker's mark of 1363. We shall give 
reasons when dealing specially with this mark for attri- 
buting its inauguration to the year 1438. 

The course of State legislation had proceeded pari 
passu with the ordinances of the Goldsmiths' Company, 
and before passing the ill-omened gulf in the history 
of English plate which occurs between 1513 and the 
commencement of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, we 
must bring it down to the earlier of these dates. And 
first comes a statute which, but for the fact that it is not 
found amongst " the statutes " properly so called, and 
seems therefore to have been only provisional and not 
confirmed on the assembling of parliament, would seem 
to have crippled the new-found powers of the gold- 
smiths' guild, and to have rendered them inoperative 
outside the city of London. Indeed, it was only 
assented that this ordinance should commence at the 
feast of St. John, and should last till the next parlia- 
ment, to try in the mean time if it were profitable or 
not. 

It is found in 1379 on the Rolls of Parliament of 
the second year of Richard II., No. 30, and would have 
ordained not only that each smith should put his mark 
on his work, but that it should be marked with the 



38 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. 



[CHAP. II. 



mark of the city or borough wherein it was assayed, 
and that the assay should belong to the mayors, etc., 
of the cities and boroughs, with the aid of the master 
of the mint. For the reasons mentioned, this statute 
was probably never acted upon. 

The next act, in 1381 (5 Eichard II., cap. 2) forbade the 
export of gold and silver in any shape, or et argent si 
bien monoie vessell plate* et joialx. These provisions 
are reinforced in 1402 by another act forbidding any 
person to carry gold or silver in money, vessell or plate 
out of the realm, without the king's licence. 

In 1404 (5 Henry IV., cap. 13), in order to prevent 
frauds, it was enacted that no artificer nor other man, 



* The word "plate" here stands 
for bar or sheet gold and silver, 
rather than for articles made of 
them, which were called "vasa" 
and "jocalia," or, in English, 
" vessel," until about the middle of 
the fifteenth century. In the wills 
and inventories of the later half of 
that century, the word begins to 
occur in its modern sense ; to give a 
single example, one Thomas Bry gg, 
in 1494, bequeaths ' ' omnia mea 
vasa argentea voc' le plate," using 
the ordinary Latin word and the 
less familiar term then just coming 
into use in juxtaposition. 

In the following statutes of the 
fourteenth century "plate" appears 
to mean merely the wrought or 
flattened metal ; a more strictly ac- 
curate use of the word, derived as 
it is from a common origin with the 
Greek Trkarvs, our own fiat, and the 
Spanish plata, than its later and 
secondary application as a general 
term to vessels formed of such 
metal : — 



9 Edw. III. Stat. 2. 
Money : 



Statute of 



c. 1. "Argent en plate ne vessel 
dor ne dargent." 
" Monoie plate ou vessel 
dor ne dargent." 

27 Edw. III. Stat. 2. The Statute 
of the Staple : 

" Plate of silver and billets of 
gold." 

A "plate of ale " is the expres- 
sion used at Trinity College, Cam- 
bridge, for one of the silver tan- 
kards purchased by fellow- com- 
moners for their own use, and left 
by them as a parting present to the 
College (Wordsworth's " Social Life 
at the English Universities in the 
18th Century"); and the same 
term is applied at Queen's College, 
in the sister university, to the 
caudlecups with ring handles which 
are now used for beer. 



chap, ii.] ACTS OP PAELIAMENT. 39 

whatsoever he be, shall gild nor silver any locks, rings, 
beads, candlesticks, harness for girdles, chalices, hilts, 
pomels of swords, powder boxes, nor covers for cups 
(pur hanapes) made of copper or latten, on pain to 
forfeit to the king c shillings at every time that he 
shall be found guilty ; but that chalices excepted, 
artificers may work ornaments for the Church of copper 
and latten, and the same gild and silver, so that at 
the foot or some other part, the copper and the latten 
shall be plain, to the intent that a man may see whereof 
the thing is made for to eschew the deceit aforesaid. 

In 1414 (2 Henry V., Stat. 2, cap. 4) it was enacted 
for that the goldsmiths of England, of their covin and 
ordinances, will not sell the wares of their mystery gilt, 
but at the double price of the weight of silver of the 
same, which seemeth to the king very outrageous and 
too excessive a price ; the king for the care of his 
people hath ordained that all goldsmiths of England 
shall gild no silver wares worse than the alloy of the 
English sterling ; and that they take for a pound of 
Troy gilt but 46 shillings and 8 pence at the most ; 
and of greater weight and less according to the quantity 
and weight of the same; and that which shall be by 
them gilt from henceforth shall be of a reasonable price 
and not excessive, and if any goldsmith do contrary to 
this statute, he shall forfeit to the king the value of 
the thing so sold. 

In 1420 (8 Henry V., c. 3) it was forbidden to gild 
any sheaths or any metal but silver, and the ornaments 
of Holy Church ; or to silver any metal but knights' 
spurs, and all the apparel that pertaineth to a baron 
and above that estate. 

A more important statute now follows, viz. that of 
1423 (2 Henry VI., cap. 14), by which it was ordained 



40 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. ii. 

that no goldsmith or jeweller within the City of 
London should sell any article of silver unless it was 
as fine as sterling, nor set it to sell before it be touched 
with the touch of the leopard's head if it may reasonably 
bear the same touch, and also with the mark or sign 
of the workman of the same, upon pain of forfeiture 
of the double as afore is said ; and that the mark or 
sign of every goldsmith be known to the wardens of 
the same craft ; and if the keeper of the touch shall 
touch any harness with the leopard's head, except it 
be as fine as sterling, shall for everything so proved 
not as good in alloy as the said sterling, forfeit the 
double value to the king and the party. By this 
statute also it is ordained that the city of York, 
Newcastle upon Tine, Lincoln, Norwich, and Bristol, 
shall have divers touches, and further that no gold- 
smith anywhere shall work silver of worse alloy than 
the sterling, and shall set his mark upon it before he 
set it to sale, upon the same penalties as if in London. 
This is the first mention of provincial assay towns, of 
which more will be said in a succeeding chapter. 

Next, in 1477 (17 Edward IV., cap. 1) by reason, of 
the provisions of the act of 2 Henry VI., cap. 14, having 
been daily broken by the goldsmiths and other workers 
of silver, as well in London as elsewhere, it was directed 
inter alia that no goldsmith or worker of gold or silver 
should work or put to sale any gold under the fineness 
of eighteen carats, nor silver unless it be as fine as 
sterling, except such thing as requireth solder, also that 
no goldsmith work or set to sale harness of silver plate, 
or jewel of silver, from the feast of Easter, within the 
city of London or within two miles of London, before 
it be touched with the leopard's head crowned, such 
as may bear the said touch, and also with a mark or 



chap, il] ACTS OF PABLIAMENT. 41 

sign of the worker of the same so wrought, upon pain 
of forfeiture of the double value of such silver wrought 
and sold to the contrary ; that the mark or sign of 
every goldsmith be committed to the wardens of the 
same mystery ; and if it be found that the keeper 
of the touch of the leopard's head crowned, do mark 
or touch any harness with the leopard's head, if it be 
not as fine in alloy as sterling, he shall forfeit double 
the value of the silver ; and that the craft of goldsmiths 
of London shall be answerable for the non-sufficiency 
of the warden. This statute was enacted for seven 
years, and was afterwards re-enacted for twenty years 
in 1489, and again for twenty years in 1552 by 
7 Edward VI., cap. 6. 

In 1487 (4 Henry VII, cap. 2) it was found that 
whereas in previous times liners and parters of gold 
and silver had used to fine and part all the gold and 
silver needful for the mints of London, Calais, Canter- 
bury, York and Durham, and the fellowship of gold- 
smiths, under the rules and orders of those mints, but 
now they dwelt abroad in every part of the realm, and 
out of the rules aforesaid, and carried on their trade 
so that men can get no fine silver ; and it was enacted 
that the finers and parters should not alloy fine gold 
nor silver, nor sell anything else, nor to any persons 
except the officers of mints and the goldsmiths ; that 
silver be made so fine that it bear 12 pennyweight of 
alloy in the pound weight, and yet be as good as 
sterling, and that all finers set their marks upon it. 

We have now brought down both the ordinances of the 
goldsmiths and those of the statute book to the time of 
Henry VIII., and it will presently be seen what a disastrous 
period in the history of the art has been reached. We 
have come to the time when the accumulated treasures 



42 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. ii. 

of the Church were swept away, and the wealth of lay- 
corporations extorted for the service of the crown and 
state. Monastic and cathedral plate disappears on the 
Eeformation in the reign of Henry VIII., the possessions 
of the parish churches follow at the end of that of 
Edward VI., whilst the " benevolences " of Queen Mary 
ransack the treasure rooms of the great secular guilds and 
companies, and end the history of English plate for a time. 

A number of goldsmiths' names occur in the Church 
inventories of Edward VI., and it may be as well to 
give a few of them for the chance of their initials being 
here and there recognised on vessels made by them for 
the reformed use, some of which, as we shall see, still 
remain. Between 1530 and 1553 may be found working 
at their craft in London Thomas Calton, John Palterton, 
Eaufe Lathom, John Waberley, Thomas Metcalfe, John 
Danyell, Eobert Eeyns, Fabyan Wythers and Eobert 
Wygge — Wigg and Dickson are mentioned in the in- 
ventory of St. George's Chapel, Windsor — and to these 
must be added the name of a lady, one Margery Herkins, 
who carried on business in Lombard Street. 

In the early years of Queen Elizabeth the names that 
most frequently occur are those of Eobert Tayleboys, 
found from 1559 to 1572, Thomas Muschampe, who 
made a communion cup for Chelmsford, which is unfor- 
tunately not now in existence, and Thomas Turpyn. Mr. 
Dericke, of the Queen's Arms in Cheapside, was one of the 
Queen's goldsmiths at the beginning of her reign, and it 
was under the auspices of this respectable tradesman that 
the first lottery of which there is any record was brought 
out in 1569 ; a little later one Hughe Kayle held a 
similar appointment amongst the Queen's servants. 

The pedigrees and coats of arms of no fewer than 
thirteen goldsmiths were entered at the visitation of 



chap, ii.] QUEEN ELIZABETH. 43 

London by the heralds in 1568, those of the above 
mentioned Thomas Metcalfe and Thomas Muschampe 
among the number. In this record Affabel Partridge, 
Esq. is styled " Principal Goldsmith " to Queen Elizabeth. 

It will be inferred that brighter days had now suc- 
ceeded to a quarter of a century of plunder and destruc- 
tion. The debased standards of the last twenty or thirty 
years were raised once more to their former purity, and 
none knew better than the Queen herself the importance 
of this step, in which she took much personal interest. 
But it was not at first a very popular measure, and the 
promulgation by royal proclamation was necessary of " a 
summarie of certaine reasons which moved the Queen's 
majestie to procede in reformations of her base and coarse 
monies, and to reduce them to their values in sorte as they 
may be turned to fine monies/' before the public, who saw 
only the loss that the reform would occasion them on the 
coin then in their possession, realised the real benefit it 
would be to the nation. This was dated from Hampton 
Court on 29th September 1560, and on 19th February 
1560-61 the base money was called in also by proclama- 
tion. The Queen went herself in state to the Mint, and 
striking some coins with her own royal hand, gave them 
to those standing about her, ordering that a medal should 
be struck to commemorate the event. The Minutes of the 
Goldsmiths' Company record that the diet tried on 18 th 
June 1561, was "the first dyett of the newe Standard." 

Stringent measures too were adopted to prevent fraud 
and to preserve the purity of the re-established standard. 
In 1576, on February 8 (18 Eliz. cap. 15) it was enacted 
with this view, that after the 20th of April then next 
ensuing, no goldsmith should work, sell or exchange any 
plate or ware of gold less in fineness than twenty -two 
"carrects" (carats), and that he use no sother amell or 



44 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. ii. 

other stuffing more than is necessary for finishing the 
same, and should not take above twelvepence for the 
ounce of gold or pound of silver "beyond the fashion" 
(more than the buyer shall or may be allowed for the 
same at the Queen's exchange or mint) ; nor put to sale 
any ware before he hath set his own mark on so much 
thereof as may conveniently bear the same ; and if after 
the above day any gold or silver wares shall be touched 
for good by the wardens or masters of the mystery, and 
there shall afterwards be found fraud or deceit therein, the 
wardens shall pay forfeit the value of the thing so marked. 
The Goldsmiths' Company too resumed its work, and 
seems to have exercised its powers even harshly. Great 
dissatisfaction was given in 1583 by one Thomas Kelynge, 
then the assay er at Goldsmiths' Hall, who from over zeal, 
or baser motives as it was alleged, made himself very 
unpopular with the craft. Amongst the records of the 
Mint are preserved some papers detailing " the grefes of 
us poor goldsmiths against our assay master, " one Richard 
Mathewe and a fellow craftsman named Henry Colley 
charging Kelynge with breaking their plate unjustly, and 
stating that when they had refashioned a part of the 
broken plate differently, and sent it in again under 
another maker's mark, it passed. Colley describes 
cutting out part of a condemned platter and making it 
into a taster which passed, and he further complained 
that out of a nest of bowls or of a tankard of no more 
than thirty ounces, Kelynge took as much as a quarter of 
an ounce, or at least half a quarter, for himself* There 
were however faults on both sides, and the strict super- 
vision of the Goldsmiths' Company was still both 
exercised and needed, as the following entry found 



* Public Kecord Office— Exchequer, Q. E. (Mint Miscell.), temp. Eliz. 



chap, ii.] FRAUDS IN 1597. 45 

among their records testifies: — "4th May, 1597 — Edward 
Cole, Attorney General, filed an information against John 
Moore and Eobert Thomas ; that whereas it had been 
heretofore of long time provided by divers laws and 
statutes for the avoiding deceipt and fraud in the making 
of plate, that every goldsmith should before the sale of 
any plate by him made, bring the same first to the 
Goldsmiths' Hall for trial by assay, to be touched or 
marked and allowed by the wardens of the said company 
of Goldsmiths; the which wardens did by their indenture 
in their search, find out the aforesaid deceitful work- 
manship and counterfeit also of plate and puncheons ; yet 
the said John Moore and E. Thomas being lately made 
free of the Goldsmiths' Company, did about three months 
past make divers parcels of counterfeit plate debased and 
worse than her Majesty's standard 12 d and more in 
the oz. ; and to give appearance to the said counterfeit 
plate being good and lawful, did thereto put and coun- 
terfeit the marks of her Majesty's Lion, the leopard's 
head limited by statute, and the alphabetical mark 
approved by ordinance amongst themselves, which are 
the private marks of the Goldsmiths' Hal], and be and 
remain in the custody of the said wardens and puncheons 
to be worked and imprinted thereon, and the said John 
Moore did afterwards sell the same for good and sufficient 
plate to the defrauding of her Majesty's subjects, &c." 

It remains to be said that they were convicted and 
sentenced to stand in the pillory at Westminster, with 
their ears nailed thereto, and with papers above their 
heads stating their offence to be " for making false plate 
and counterfeiting her Majesty's touch." They were then 
put in the pillory at Cheapside, had one ear cut off", and 
were taken through Foster Lane to Fleet Prison, and 
had to pay a fine of ten marks. Here we have the first 



46 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. ii. 

actual mention by name of the Lion and an alphabetical 
letter, though both had been long in use, the former 
about half a century, and the latter probably at least 
150 years. 

There is nothing now to note for a long time except 
that in 1624 (21 Jac. I. c. 28) certain portions of the 
earlier enactments of 28 Edw. L, 37 Edw. III., and 
2 Henry VI. were repealed, and that a few years later 
the goldsmiths' hall-marks were fully recognized as a 
guarantee of the quality of silver bearing them; for when 
Charles I. resorted to forced loans for the means of carry- 
ing on the war, warrants, dated from Oxford in 1643, 
demanded of the individuals to whom they were addressed 
so much money "or the value thereof in plate, toucht plate 
at five shillings, and untoucht plate at foure shillings 
foure pence per ounce." * 

In these and such like transactions the goldsmiths 
bore an important part, and that their business was right 
profitable is attested by the wealthy and notable men 
that are found amongst them at this time. Who has 
not heard of George Heriot, goldsmith to James VI. of 
Scotland, and of the noble hospital founded by him in 
Edinburgh 1 A goldsmith by descent, for his father was 
an eminent Scotch goldsmith and money dealer, like 
other people he removed to London with his royal 
master on his accession to the English throne, and there 
constantly increased in eminence and wealth till his 
death in 1623-4. The Vyners, too, and the Jenners 
both owed their prosperity to the great business which 
they carried on as goldsmiths in the middle years of this 
century. 

The name of Vyner must be invoked to justify digres- 



* Coll. Top. et Gen. vol. vii., p. 102. 



chap, ii.] CORONATION REGALIA OF CHARLES II. 47 

sion for a little while to a subject of considerable archaeo- 
logical, indeed national importance. Some six-and -thirty 
years ago, Mr. Robert Cole, F.S.A., read before the 
Society of Antiquaries a paper * upon some interesting 
documents relating to the Regalia made for the coronation 
of King Charles II. that had then lately come into his 
possession. They were two in number, one of them 
being the order, dated 20th June 1662, for the payment 
from the Royal Treasury to Sir Robert Vyner, his 
Majesty's goldsmith, the sums of £21,978 95. lid, and 
£10,000, "for two Crowns, two Sceptres, and a Globe of 
gold, set with diamonds, rubyes, saphires, emeralds, and 
pearls, St. Edward's Staff, the Armilla, Ampull, and other 
the Regalia, all of gold." The second document was the 
receipt of Sir Robert Yyner for part of this money, and 
it bears the signature of Sir Robert Vyner himself, dated 
July 1, 1662. A third and later document, dated Feb. 23, 
1684-5, procured by Mr. Cole in the same way and at 
the same time as the other two, was afterwards com- 
municated to the Society. It contained not only a list 
but the weights of the articles comprised in the Regalia, 
and seemed to have been prepared as a sort of estimate of 
some of the probable expenses of the approaching corona- 
tion of James II., which took place in April, including 
the providing of articles such as on the former occasion 
were delivered to the great officers of state for fees. It is 
of considerable interest, and as the Transactions of the 
Society of Antiquaries are at the disposal of compara- 
tively few persons, no apology is needed for reprinting it 
here as follows : f 



* Archseologia, vol. xxix., p. 
262. 

f Proceedings of the Society of 



Antiquaries, 1852, vol. ii., No. 31, 
p. 222. 



48 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. ii. 

"A List of y e Eegalias provided for his late Ma l >' s Coronation, and are 
now in y e Custody of S r Gilbert Talbot, Knt., Master and Treas r of his 
Ma'y' 8 Jewells and Plate, viz* — 

oz. dwt. gr. Ii. s. d. 

Imprim. S* Edward's Crowne . . . poiz 82 5 16 

For y e addition of Gold and Workemanship . . . 350 00 00 

Por y e Loane of y e Jewells returned 500 00 00 

It m One Crowne of State"* .... poiz 72 01 00 

Por y e Gold, Jewells, and Workemanship . . . 7,870 00 00 

It m One Scepter with a Dove . . . poiz 34 03 20 

For y e Gold, Jewells, and Workemanship . . . . 440 00 00 
It m One other Scepter with a Cross . . poiz 32 11 10 

Por y e Gold Jewells and Workemanship . ... 1,025 00 00 
It m One S l Edward's Staffe . . . ' . poiz 45 08 08 

Por y e Gold and Workemanship 225 06 02 

It m One Gloobe with a Crosse . . . poiz 49 07 12 

Por Gold, Jewells, and Workemanship . . . . 1,150 00 00 

It m One Pair of Spurrs .... poiz 12 18 00 

Por Gold and Workemanship 63 07 06 

It m Two Armillas poiz 6 12 22 

Por Gold and Workemanship 44 18 06 

It rc One Ampulla or Eglet .... poiz 21 08 00 

For Gold and Workemanship 102 05 00 

lt m The Anointing Spoon .... poiz 3 05 00 

Por Silver and Workemanship 2 00 00 

It m One Chalice and Paten .... poiz 61 12 12 

For Gold and Workemanship 277 06 03 

£12,050 03 05 
G. Talbot." 



" A List of Eegalias provided for his late Ma ties Coronation, w oh were 
delivered for Pees, &c, by Order, and are out of y e Custody of S r Gilbert 
Talbot, Kn l , Master and Treas r of his Maj' s Jewells and Plate, and are 
now to be provided, &c. : — 

oz. dwt. gr. Ii. s. d. 

Imprim 8 One L d High Constable's Staffe . poiz 15 00 00 

For Silver and Workemanship 08 15 00 

It m One Earle Marshall's Staffe . . poiz 9 00 00 

For Silver, Gilding, and Workemanship . . . . 07 15 00 

It m Six Canopy Staves .... poiz 180 02 12 

For Silver and Workemanship 76 11 01 



* The framework of this crown 
was taken by Messrs. Eundell and 
Bridge in part payment for a new 



crown made by them in 1838, and 
is now in the possession of W. A. 
Tyssen-Amherst, Esq. 



chap. ii.J CORONATION REGALIA OF CHARLES II. 49 

oz. dwt gr. li. s. d, 

It m One Crowne for Garter King at Arms . poiz 24 10 

For Gold and Workemanship .116176 

It m One Chaine and Jewell . . . poiz 5 13 3 

For Gold and Workemanship . . . ... . 43 06 07 

It m One Banner and Rod . . . . poiz 3 13 3 

For Golde and Workemanship 37 14 03 

It m One Collar of SS poiz 19 10 

For Silver, Guilding, and Workemanship . . . . 24 18 09 
It m Two Coronets . - poiz 30 12 12 

For Silver, Gilding, and Workemanship . . . . 22 19 04 

It m Two Collars of SS .... poiz 34 07 12 

For Silver and Workemanship 331110 

It m Six Collars of SS poiz 89 15 00 

For Silver and Workemanship 82 08 09 

It m Two Ingots poiz 19 00 00 

For Gold and Workemanship 75 05 00 

It m One Cup poiz 19 07 00 

For Gold and Workemanship 80 05 03 

It m Coronation Meddalls — Twelve . . poiz 3 10 16 

For Gold and Workemanship 25 06 08 

It m Jewells, 75 for Kn ts of the Bath, of w ch 

seven are in custody .... poiz 35 10 12 

For Gold and Workemanship 433 04 4 

£1,067 19 4 
G. Talbot." 

Interesting as this curious history of the Eegalia is in 
itself, and as showing what is not generally known, that 
none of the old Eegalia survived the Commonwealth, it is 
not of less importance to note the mode in which these 
and other documents came into Mr. Cole's hands. The 
instructive particulars of his acquisition of them shall be 
told in his own words. He says : 

"It will be in the recollection of the Society that some 
two or three years ago the then Lords of the Treasury 
directed the selection and mutilation of many tons weight 
of Exchequer Eecords (as they were not improperly 
called), and which, after being mutilated, were sold as 
waste paper. It is not necessary for me to make any 
observations on the propriety or impropriety of this order 
for the destruction of original documents, nor on the 



50 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. ii. 

manner in which that order was executed : the report of 
the committee appointed by the House of Lords to inquire 
into the subject is before the public, and to that, and the 
evidence taken on the occasion, I would refer the Society. 
The contractor with the Government for the purchase of 
the mutilated records re-sold the mass in various parcels, 
and a portion of about two tons weight came into my 
hands, from which I selected many very curious and 
interesting documents, one of them the subject of my 
present communication/ ' 

In view of any similar wholesale destruction of ancient 
public records in future, the necessity cannot be too 
strongly urged of examining them far more carefully and 
by more expert hands than hitherto, before they are 
altogether condemned ; and it may help to save some of 
them to show, by the fragments that have accidentally 
escaped, what curious and interesting historical informa- 
tion may easily be overlooked and destroyed. 

Eeturning to the Vyners and the Jenners, it must not 
be forgotten that from this time until 1700 or even later 
many of the London goldsmiths combined the business 
of banking with their trade, many of the gentry in those 
troublous times being glad to adopt the practice of keep- 
ing " running cash balances " with their goldsmiths for 
safety's sake instead of keeping gold in their own houses. 
This, indeed, is the origin of modern London banking, 
and in some cases existing firms actually represent 
ancestors who came in for their business in this way, and 
gradually dropped their earlier calling for the new one. 

Not that the goldsmiths' craft was thought by any 
means a despicable one ; they are found resenting asso- 
ciation with men of " meaner trades," even as dwellers 
in the same street, and the interference of Charles I. was 
on occasion procured for the removal of such people from 



chap, ii.] THE BANKER GOLDSMITHS. 51 

Cheapside, which was then almost exclusively inhabited 
by the goldsmiths. 

An account lately published of Messrs. Childs' bank- 
ing house, tells of the apprenticing in early life of the 
great Sir Francis Child, Lord Mayor in 1699, to his 
grandfather, William Wheeler the elder, a goldsmith at 
Temple Bar ; of his marriage with his cousin Elizabeth 
Wheeler, the only daughter and heiress of his uncle, 
William Wheeler the younger, and of his succession to 
the business, which has ever since been carried on at 
the sign of the Marigold in the same name. 

But this brings us a step further towards modern 
banking, for a list of goldsmiths is given, and it includes 
Charles Duncomb of the Grasshopper, Francis Kenton of 
the King's Arms, Thomas Fowle of the Black Lion, 
J. Heriot of the Naked Boy, and John Mawson & Co. of 
the Golden Hind, all in Fleet Street, and John Coggs of 
the King's Head in the Strand, who prior even to 1700 
kept accounts with Childs', instead of taking care of 
their own money, or carrying on a joint goldsmith's and 
banking business for the benefit of their customers. The 
same account gives the names of William Bawson and 
John Marry ott in 1666, Thomas Williams of the Crown 
in 1677, William Pinckney of the Golden Dragon, Inner 
Temple Gate, in 1663, Joseph Horneby, John Portman, 
Bobert Welsted, and Thomas Bowe, all goldsmiths of 
more or less note in the time of Charles II., besides the 
better known one of Edward Backwell, who died in 
1679, ruined by his dealings with that sovereign. 

But in the midst of more interesting historical remarks, 
the working goldsmith and his regulations must not be 
forgotten, and so far as these are concerned, we find that 
things remained where we left them early in the century, 
till in 1675, for the prevention and redress of great 

E 2 



52 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. ii. 

abuses, the Goldsmiths' Company put forth a notice 
dated from their Hall on Feb. 23, to the following effect : 
— That whereas divers small wares were frequently 
worked and put to sale worse than standard, and also 
divers pieces of silver plate sold, not being assayed at 
Goldsmiths' Hall, and not marked with the leopard's 
head crowned, and whereas to prevent such frauds the 
wardens had formerly required all plate workers and 
small workers to cause their respective marks to be 
brought to the said Hall, and struck there in a table 
kept in the Assay Office, notice was by this order given 
to all goldsmiths in and about the cities of London and 
Westminster to repair to the Hall, and there strike their 
marks in a table appointed for that purpose, and likewise 
enter their names and their dwellings in a book, and that 
workers and shopkeepers should forbear to sell any gold 
or silver wares not being agreeable to standard, gold of 
22 carats, and silver of 11 oz. 2 dwts. fine, nor before 
the workman's mark be struck thereon, and the same 
assayed at Goldsmiths' Hall, and there approved for 
standard by striking thereon the lyon and Leopard's head 
crowned, or one of them, if the works would conveniently 
bear the same, and the order concludes with a caution as 
to the penalty for infringing it. 

Passing mention must be made of" the Plate Lotteries " 
of Charles II. before going on to a later reign. These 
seem to have been a contrivance for rewarding the 
fidelity of those who had served the Crown during the 
interregnum, and for raising money at the same time for 
present needs, The mode of distributing gifts of plate 
from the Crown as prizes by means of lotteries, probably 
recommended itself by the opportunity it offered of 
farming out to advantage the right of setting up and 
bringing out the lotteries in various parts of England, and 



chap, il] NEW STEELING SILVER 53 

of selling the tickets. Mr. Hone gives a note from 
Malcolm's " Manners " on this ingenious mode of in- 
creasing the revenue* : — " This is to give notice that 
any persons who are desirous to farm any of the counties 
within the kingdom of England or the dominion of 
Wales, in order to the setting up of a plate lottery, or 
any other lottery whatsoever, may repair to the lottery 
office at Mr. Philip's house in Mermaid Court, over 
against the mews, where they may contract with the 
trustees commissioned by His Majesty's letters patent for 
the management of the said lotteries on the behalf of the 
truly loyal, indigent officers." 

We now come to legislation of a different character. 
The order of 1675 possibly had a good effect, and it 
became necessary rather to protect the coin of the realm, 
from being melted down for plate, than to insist on the 
fineness of the plate itself. 

Large quantities of plate had been sacrificed for King 
and Parliament, or confiscated in this troublous century, 
and now that quiet times had come again, the rich 
turned their attention to replenishing their tables and 
cupboards with the necessary plate, and had resort to the 
supply of metal that was nearest at hand — the silver 
coin of the realm. 

In consequence, therefore, of the practice which now 
prevailed of melting down the coin for this purpose, 
legislation for its protection became necessary, and in 
1697 (8 & 9 Will. III. c. 8) this object was effected by 
raising the standard for plate above that of the silver 
coinage, and so making the silver of the coinage less 
available. It was enacted that on and after March 25, 
1697, no worker of plate should make any article of 



* Every Day Book, ii. 1413. 



54 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. ii. 

silver less in fineness than 11 oz. 10 dwts. in every 
pound Troy, nor sell any article made after that day but 
of that standard, nor until it had been marked with the 
marks now appointed to distinguish plate of this new 
standard. These marks were to be as follows : — The 
workers mark to be expressed by the two first letters of 
his surname, the marks of the mystery or craft of the 
goldsmiths, which instead of the leopard's head and lion 
were to be the figure of a lion's head erased and the 
figure of a woman, commonly called Britannia, and a 
distinct and variable mark to be used by the warden of 
the same mystery, to denote the year in which such 
plate was made. The plate made at this period is often 
called of " Britannia standard " to distinguish it. 

But now another difficulty arose, for this act mention- 
ing no provincial offices practically deprived them of the 
privilege of stamping any plate at all, as they were not 
empowered to use the marks appointed for the new, and 
now the only legal, standard. The result of this was 
that from 1697 until the establishment of certain pro- 
vincial offices, as we shall see, in 1701, no plate was 
properly stamped anywhere but in London, and what 
little plate was made in the provinces was stamped 
irregularly.* 

Leaving, however, the provincial offices for the present, 
some other provisions of the act of 1697 must not be 
forgotten, for it not only protected the coin by raising 
the standard, but adopted means for increasing the 
supply of it. This was effected by providing for the 
ready purchase by the mint of any wrought plate bearing 
the stamps of the Goldsmiths' Company at 5s. Ad. per 
ounce, and such an offer, no doubt, brought about a 



* See p. 115. 



chap, ii.] SCARCITY OF SILVER IN 1718. 55 

further destruction of some of the ancient plate that 
had escaped previous storms. 

It may be mentioned here, that owing to the re-regis- 
tration of makers' marks, which now became necessary, 
more is known henceforward about plateworkers' names 
than is the case in earlier days. Some of them were 
artists of great merit, and the names and abodes of all 
those of much note have been entered against their 
marks in an appendix at the end of this volume. The 
best patronised of them will be known by the number of 
recorded examples of work stamped with their respective 
marks. 

In the course of the next twenty years the object of 
the last -mentioned statute was accomplished, though 
somewhat slowly, and at length the necessity for its 
continuance no longer existed. Added to this it seems 
to have been found that articles made of the higher 
quality of silver were not so durable nor so serviceable 
as those of the old standard. 

Even as late as 1718, silver coin seems to have 
been very scarce,"* and this scarcity was one of the 
principal matters to which the Parliament of that year 
directed its attention. Lord Stanhope in his official 
statement as head of the Treasury ascribed it to three 
causes : first, the increasing luxury in relation to plate, 
secondly the export of plate or other bullion to the 
East Indies, and thirdly, to the clandestine trade 
carried on of exporting silver and importing gold to and 
from Holland, Germany, and other countries. In 1717 
the East India Company had exported three million 
ounces of silver, which far exceeded the imports, so that 
large quantities of silver specie must have been melted 



* Lord Mahon's " History of England," vol. i., p. 443. 



56 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. ii. 

up to supply the export and the silversmiths. Lord 
Stanhope also hinted at " the malice of some persons, 
who by hoarding up silver thought to distress the 
Government." However this may be, the " old sterling " 
standard was restored from June 1, 1720 (6 Geo. I., c. 11), 
and took its place beside the new or Britannia standard, 
which, with its special marks, was left a lawful standard 
for such as preferred it. 

Provisions against dishonesty were again found to be 
necessary, and in 1739, in consequence of great frauds 
which are detailed in the act of that year (12 Geo. II., 
cap. 26), particularly in the use of excessive quantities 
■of solder, the standards were again fixed at 22 carats 
for gold, and 11 oz. 2 dwts. for silver, though the 
higher standard was not abolished, and the marks to be 
used were resettled, the maker's initials to be those of 
his Christian name and surname, instead of the first two 
letters of his surname as was ordered in 1697, likewise 
the character or alphabet of the initial letters used was 
to be in each case changed also. The marks to be used 
by the country assay offices were also dealt with, but, as 
will be seen in Chap. V., not so clearly as could have 
been wished. As before, the general re-registration of 
marks has stored the books of the Goldsmiths' Company 
with a quantity of information as to the names of the 
goldsmiths of the day. 

Except for the lower standards of gold, we have now 
been carried through all the marks to be found on plate 
stamped in London, save one only— the mark of the 
sovereigns head. This was introduced in 1784 (24 
Geo. III., c. 53) by an act granting an additional duty 
from December 1 in that year of 8s. per oz. on gold 
plate, and of sixpence per oz. on silver. It directed the 
wardens or assay master to mark the pieces with a new 



chap, ii.] HALL MARKS ON GOLD. 57 

mark, viz. the king's head over and above the several 
marks already used. 

Some further details as to duties payable, articles 
exempted, and dealers' licences will be found under the 
head of the duty mark in the next chapter. 

Last of all we come to some quite recent improve- 
ments in the system of marking gold, and to the author- 
ization of the above-mentioned lower gold standards, 
a step brought about by the use of that precious metal 
amongst larger classes of society. These provisions are 
the last on our list relating to marks, and are perhaps 
the least interesting of all from an antiquary's point of 
view, however valuable they may be to the purchaser in 
the every-day dealings of trade. The lower standards, 
or rather all those below 18 carats, have never been 
much used nor appreciated by the public, and it will 
perhaps not be necessary to refer to them again. The 
act, however, is an important one (38 Geo. III. c. 69,) 
which authorized the much-used standard of 18 carats 
fine for gold, and provided for its being marked with a 
crown and the figures 18 instead of the lion passant ; 
for it had the good effect of giving gold a different distin- 
guishing mark from silver for the first time, a distinction 
which should have been made long before. It must 
always be remembered that until 38 Geo. III. there was 
no special distinguishing mark for gold, and then only 
for 18 -carat gold, and further that it was not until 1844 
that 22-carat gold was marked otherwise than as silver 
would have been. By 7 & 8 Vict. c. 22, s. 15, this last 
improvement was made, and 22-carat gold has from that 
time been marked with a crown and 22, instead of the 
lion passant, to the great advantage of the public. 

The still lower standards for gold were legalised in 
1854 (17 & 18 Vict. c. 96), by a provision enabling Her 



58 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. 



[CT3AP. II. 



Majesty in Council to allow any gold standard of not less 
than one-third of fine gold. In pursuance of this, three 
reduced standards were ordered to be marked as follows, 
viz. : — 15-carat, with the figures 15 and *625 ; 12-carat, 
with 12 and *5 ; and 9-carat, with 9 and '375— the 
second figure in each case being the proportion of fine 
gold expressed in decimals. 

The act called "the Goldsmiths* Act" of 1844, which 
has been already mentioned as regulating the marking of 
22-carat gold (7 & 8 Vict. c. 22), also regulates the 
trade as regards forgeries of dies or marks, the selling of 
plate worse than standard, and other such frauds. But 
as this is rather a matter of present-day interest than 
connected with the history of the craft or their marks, a 
fuller consideration of it is reserved for a separate chapter 
devoted to frauds and offences. 

The result of this somewhat long historical and legal 
notice is that we shall find, on plate made in London, 
the following marks or some of them in accordance with 
the various statutes and ordinances that have been 
recounted. Stated for clearness in their chronological 
order, they are as follows : — 



1. The Leopard's head, from 1300. 

2. The Maker's mark, from 1363. 

3. The Annual letter, from 1438. 

4. The Lion passant, from 1545. 

5. The Lion's head erased, and figure of Britannia, from 1697.* 

6. The Sovereign's head, from 1784. 

The following chapter treats of each of these marks in 
turn more fu]ly. 



* Prom 1697—1720 used instead 
of the leopard's head crowned and 
lion passant, which were discon- 
tinued during that interval. Since 



1720, used, when required, for 
plate made of the higher standard 
silver. 



CHAP, II.] 



TABLE OF LONDON MAKES. 



59 





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CHAPTER IIT. 

The marks found on plate assayed in London — The leopard's head— The 
maker's mark — The date-letter — The lion passant — The lion's head 
erased and figure of Britannia — The Sovereign's head. 

THE LEOPAED'S HEAD. 

Though, in all probability, workers in the precious 
metals had been, from even earlier times, in the habit 
of signing their work each with his own distinguishing 
symbol, this ancient mark appointed by statute in 1300 
is the first which is mentioned in any law or ordinance 
regulating the goldsmith's art in England. In the trans- 
lation of the original Norman-French of this enactment, 
as given in the Statutes at Large, the words used are 
" the leopard's head," as if it were some known and 
recognised symbol, but in the original itself the words are 
" une teste de leopart," and Mr. Octavius Morgan has 
suggested that the article " une " implies that it was a 
new mark invented for the purpose. On the other hand, 
the first charter of the Goldsmiths' Company, dated 1327, 
refers to the mark as ordained " of ancient times," and 
this would seem a somewhat inappropriate description of 
a mark instituted within living memory. 

However this may be, from 1300, if not before, it was, 
until the introduction of the lion passant, the king's mark 
for " gold of a certain touch," and " silver of the sterling 
allay." And first, some confusion and error seem to 



chap, in.] THE LEOPAKD'S HEAD. 61 

have existed with regard to the term " Leopard's head/' 
it being, in fact, a Lion's head. It will, however, be 
remembered, that in old French, the language alike of 
heraldry and of our early statutes, the term " leopart " 
means a lion passant guardant. The arms of England 
from the time of Henry III. have been three such lions, 
and in the old French heraldic works they are described as 
three "leoparts" or "lions leopardies." The leopard's head, 
therefore, is properly the head of a lion passant guardant, 
which, in fact, is a lion's front face ; and all the early 
examples of this mark show a fine bold lion's face with 
mane and beard, having on the head a ducal crown. It 
was in all probability, therefore, taken from the arms of 
the sovereign, and the crown added as a further indication 
of its being the King's mark. It is actually called " the 
King's mark " in the next statute in which it is mentioned, 
that of 1363. It must here be remarked that although 
in the act of 1300, and the charter of 1327, it is only 
termed " the leopard's head," in the earliest Goldsmiths' 
ordinances it is spoken of as " the Liberds hede crowned" 
whilst in the act of 1477 it is described in both ways : 
later, in the Goldsmiths' records of 1597, it appears as 
the leopard's head only, though it is certainly and always 
found bearing a crown, upon plate of that period. It 
is crowned on the " Pudsey " spoon of 1445, which is 
the most ancient article of plate bearing the English 
hall-marks that is known to exist. We may conclude 
that it was, in truth, crowned from the first, and that 
it is a mistake arising out of the wording of the act 
of 1477, to date the addition of the crown from that 
year. 

It is a very doubtful point too whether the mark 
should be called, as it often is, the London hall-mark. 
It certainly was not so originally, except in the sense 



62 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. hi. 

that in early times the Goldsmiths' Company in that city 
were the only authorised keepers of "the king's touch." 
In 1477 it was not considered specially a London mark, 
for the act of that year, speaking of the prevalent abuse 
of setting this mark on gold and silver that was not fine, 
recites as a grievance that the " said touch of the Leo- 
pard's head is oftentimes put on such things by the 
keeper of the said touch of London and other places." 
Here the " said touch of the Leopard's head " is recog- 
nised as the sign of the standard, used as well in London 
as elsewhere. Again, when it was abolished for a time 
(1697-1720), together with the lion passant, in favour 
of two new marks, those two new marks were both used 
under the acts which, shortly afterwards, established the 
provincial assay offices ; neither of them was reserved 
specially for the Goldsmiths' Company, as would have 
been the case if its own peculiar hall-mark had been 
abolished, and the inference is irresistible that at that 
time it was considered a national standard mark and 
not the London hall-mark at all. Further, upon the 
restoration of the old sterling standard of silver in 1720, 
the leopard's head was resumed in ordinary course by 
several of the provincial offices, for metal of that degree 
of fineness, and in one such office it is so used, as well 
as in London, at the present day. 

„It should also be noted that even when the leopard's 
head and the lion passant were disused on silver, they 
still remained in force for standard gold, and it may 
favour the view of the leopard's head being a standard 
mark rather than the distinguishing mark of the London 
Goldsmiths' Hall, that it was used at this time on one 
metal assayed there, but not on the other. 

Like the question of the derivation of the mark, this 
point is, however, rather of antiquarian interest than of 



chap, in.] THE LEOPARD'S HEAD. 63 

practical importance, for even if it were the standard 
mark until the invention of the lion passant practically 
released it, if we may say so, from doing duty in that 
capacity, it may perhaps not unfairly since that date, say 
from 1545, when found on London-made plate, be looked 
upon as answering the same purpose as the shields of 
arms used as their distinguishing hall-marks by assay- 
offices in the provinces. 

When we come to consider the London date letter, we 
shall urge its claim to be the London mark properly so 
called. 

In conclusion, although evidently not always confined 
to London, the leopard's head crowned has been used at 
Goldsmiths' Hall for whatever purpose from time im- 
memorial on standard gold, and on old sterling silver 
whenever such silver has been worked. 

The appearance of the stamp has from time to time 
been altered, and always for the worse. The size of the 
lion's head was somewhat diminished in the year 1729, 
when he was also shorn of much of his mane and beard, 
the character of the crown being also altered ; and in 
1823, from the fact, it is said, of the mention of a simple 
" leopard's head " being found in some of the earlier docu- 
ments without being followed by the word "crowned," 
and the persons employed not being aware of the cir- 
cumstances above related, the form of the stamp was 
altogether changed, the head was deprived of its crown, 
and was made to present an object far more resembling 
the head of a cat than the fine bold face of former 
days, which we would fain see restored to its pristine 
form. 

However this may be, it deserves to be remarked, that 
but for the omission of the crown in and after 1823, it 
would be somewhat difficult to distinguish the small 



64 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. iit. 

Eoman letters then current from those of the former 
small Koman alphabet of 1776-1795. This difficulty 
would first arise in that very year, 1823. Until then 
the letters would be sufficiently distinguished by the fact 
that the former alphabet, until the " i " of 1784, would 
be unaccompanied by a king's head mark ; but this 
distinction ceasing with that letter in 1784, there would 
then be nothing but a slight difference in the royal 
portrait to depend upon, were it not for the absence of 
the crown from the leopard's head. This consideration 
may have had something to do with the innovation. 



THE WOEKEE'S OE MAKER'S MAEK. 

The next thing to be considered in the chronological 
series is the maker's mark. Following closely, as we 
have seen, on its adoption in other countries, such a 
mark was first instituted in England by statute in 1363, 
when it was directed that every master goldsmith should 
have a mark of his own, known by those who should be 
appointed by the king to survey the works ; which 
marks, for which the goldsmiths should answer, should 
be set on the works after they had been assayed. The 
Goldsmiths' Company made similar provisions in their 
earliest known ordinances, to that which now became 
the law of the land ; and almost every subsequent statute 
provides, under heavy penalties, for the marking of plate 
with the mark or sign of the worker. 

These marks were at first, in many cases, emblems or 
symbols ; probably often selected in allusion to the name 
of the maker. In early times most shops had signs by 
which they were known, and some retain the custom 
even to the present day, especially on the Continent. 
This no doubt arose from the fact that, as few persons 



chap., in.] THE MAKEB'S MAEK 65 

could read, the writing of the name would be of little 
use, whereas the setting up of some sign, such for 
instance as the golden ball, which was easily understood, 
gave a convenient name to the shop ; it is therefore not 
improbable that the goldsmiths, in some eases, took for 
their mark the sign of their shop. 

Several such goldsmiths' signs are well known, as, for 
instance, the " grasshopper " of Sir Thomas Gresham's 
house in Lombard Street, now occupied by Messrs. 
Martins, and the "marigold" which a century later 
distinguished the house where the Childs carried on their 
banker-goldsmith business in Fleet Street. Neither are 
there wanting notices here and there of the signs of more 
obscure working goldsmiths, especially in the accounts of 
parish churchwardens in the reigns of Edward VI. and 
Queen Elizabeth. In such accounts of 1551, one Calton 
is found working at the sign of " the Purse in Chepe," 
also a fellow craftsman of the name of Wark at " the 
George in Lomberde Strete ; " another account of 1560 
mentions a " Mr. Muschamp, goldsmith of London," as 
of "the Eyng with the Rube " also in "Lumbarde St." 
The " Pudsey " spoon of 1445, which we have already 
had occasion to mention, and shall have to recur to 
again, has the figure of a heart stamped thus ty as the 
makers mark, and many early specimens have similar 
symbols. Some few marks of the earlier goldsmiths 
resemble those so well known as merchants' marks, or 
the masons' marks on ancient buildings; one such seems 
to have been the trade mark of Eobert Harding, alderman 
and goldsmith, who died in 1503, having served jl, 
as master of the Goldsmiths' Company in 1489. -=^ 
An engraving of this is given in the margin.* 



* Surrey Archaeological Society's Transactions, vol. vi., part i., p. 36. 

F 



66 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. hi. 

Another somewhat simpler, viz. Ht, is found on a small 

cup of 1599, in the possession of the Armourers' Company. 

Sometimes initial letters were used as the workers' 
marks, and eventually they became the rule, indeed 
symbols and emblems unaccompanied by any initial 
letters hardly ever occur later than the commencement 
of the seventeenth century ; the examination of a great 
number of specimens of that century has given us less 
than half a dozen such marks ; a water-bird in a dotted 
circle, found on an example belonging to the Hon. 
Society of the Middle Temple of the year 1682-3, being 
the very last, and except that single one, there is nothing 
of the kind later than 1661, when the Communion-plate 
at Gloucester Cathedral is found to bear some animal or 
other not easily to be recognized, on a shaped shield. 

The anonymous author of the " Touchstone for Gold 
and Silver "Wares," writing in 1676, makes the following 
remarks as to the supervision exercised by the Goldsmiths' 
Company over the makers' marks: — "In this office" 
(referring to the Assay-Office at Goldsmiths' Hall) "is 
likewise kept for publique view a table or tables arti- 
ficially made of columns of parchment or velom, and 
several of the same sorts ; in the lead columns are 
struck or entered the workers' marks {which are gene- 
rally the first two letters of their Christian and sur- 
names), and right against them, in the parchment or 
velom columns, are writ and entered the owners' names ; 
This is that which is meant in the before-recited statutes, 
by the expression of making the workers' mark known to 
the surveyors or wardens of the craft; which said 
warden's duty is to see that the marks be plain and of 
a fit size, and not one like another, and to require the 
thus entering the said marks, and also the setting them 



chap, in.] THE MAKER'S MARK. 67 

clear and visible on all gold and silver work, not only 
on every work, but also on every part thereof that is 
ivrought apart and afterwards soldered or made fast 
thereto in finishing the same. Our law makers (as I 
conceive) did think the thus setting the marks on the 
work, to be the securest way to prevent fraud in this 
kind ; for if it would not deter from the working and 
selling course silver and gold wares, yet would it be a 
sure way to find out the offenders and to have the 
injured righted. But if the marks might be omitted 
and the works should pass but into a third owner's hand, 
for the most part it would be impossible to discern one 
man's work from another, by reason that divers workers 
make all sorts of work in shape so near alike." 

All the information ever possessed by the Goldsmiths' 
Company as to workers' names or their places of 
abode down to the year 1697, is unfortunately lost, 
together with those tables, and it is only by the exami- 
nation of ancient inventories and accounts that here and 
there a name can be put to a mark ; as, for instance, when 
the accounts of churchwardens give the name of the 
goldsmith from whom communion-plate was purchased, 
and it chances that their successors in office are still 
in possession of the article so procured. The only 
official record now in existence of any of their marks 
prior to that date, is a copper-plate preserved in the 
Assay-Master's Office, carefully framed and glazed to save 
it from further harm, which contains a number of 
impressions in nine parallel columns from the punches 
used by the makers who were working between 1675 
and 1697. 

This plate bears the following inscription, viz. : — " On 
the above Plate are the Marks from Workmen taken at 
this Office Prior to the Fifteenth of April, a.d. 1697, of 

F 2 



68 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. hi. 

which not any other Entry is to be found." It was at 
one time thought possible that it contained the marks 
of workers for generations past, and its importance in 
that case could hardly have been over-rated ; but it is 
now quite clear that it owes its interest to its being the 
identical table referred to in the Goldsmiths' Order of 
1675, for no mark upon it is ever found on plate older 
than that year, whereas almost every maker's mark found 
on plate from 1675 to 1697 is registered thereon. The 
book referred to in the same Order as appointed for the 
entry of names, has perished with the earlier tables ; and 
this one remaining table, interesting as it is as a relic, is 
therefore but a bare record of certain marks used for 
those few years only, without any names against them. 
It cannot be said to possess the value, and is not of the 
interest, that would attach to a portion of an unbroken 
series, but all the more important marks upon it will be 
found in the lists of examples given later. From 1697 
onwards, impressions of the marks from the makers' own 
punches have been taken regularly, and are preserved in 
volumes with the owners' names and addresses, appa- 
rently in their own handwriting, entered against their 
respective marks. In that year, it will be remembered, 
we came at last to an express enactment that the 
worker's mark should be the first two letters of his sur- 
name, and this must have caused a general change of 
marks throughout the trade, indeed we can trace it in 
certain instances ; for example, we may safely assume 
that the mark of P.H under a crown and two ermine 
spots found on the copper plate, was the earlier mark 
of the Peeter Harracke who entered his new one of HA 
with the same accessories in compliance with this Act in 
the month of October, 1698. 

The first letters of the surname were alone used as 



chap, in.] THE MAKER'S MAKK. 69 

long as the use of the higher standard of silver was 
compulsory, that is to say, from 1697 until 1720 ; but on 
the restoration of the old sterling standard in 1720, 
makers seem to have thought themselves at liberty to 
use their ordinary initials, at all events on wares of the 
restored standard; and from that year till 1739, their 
practice was somewhat uncertain, for initials are often 
found in that interval which could by no possibility 
have been the first two letters of any surname whatever. 
Many makers had two marks, one for each standard ; 
thus Paul Crespin signs his work of the Britannia 
standard with CR., but old sterling silver with PC ; 
Isaac Callard with CA and IC respectively, and so on. 
This want of uniformity was effectually remedied for the 
future by the Act of 1739, which came into operation on 
May 28th, and ordered the makers to destroy their 
existing marks, and to substitute for them the initials of 
their Christian and surnames, directing, in addition, that 
the new letters should, in each case be of a different 
character or alphabet from those used before. This was 
no doubt to further secure the destruction of the old 
punches. 

The marks of that celebrated silversmith Paul Lamerie 
illustrate this state of things throughout. His first 
registered mark in 1712 was LA, his second in 1733 
P.L, his third being (in accordance with the provisions 
of 1739) P.L in italic letters, registered in the month 
of June in that year. 

The initial letters of the Christian and surname have 
been used from 1739 to the present time. It only 
remains to note that the minute mark often found beside 
the makers is a workshop mark to show which particular 
workman was employed upon the article bearing it. 



70 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. hi. 

THE ANNUAL LETTEE; ASSAYEE'S OE WARDEN'S MAEK. 

This is perhaps the most interesting of all the marks, 
for it goes far to enable us to ascertain the precise year 
in which any piece of plate was made. It may seem 
somewhat of a paradox to begin by stating that it is by 
no means certain when it was itself introduced. This is 
nevertheless strictly true. Nothing is better ascertained 
than that the mark must have been in use from the 
early part of the fifteenth century ; and it will scarcely 
be believed that there is no positive mention of it till 
1597, when at last it occurs in the Attorney General's 
information, in which it is styled " The alphabetical 
mark approved by ordinance amongst the goldsmiths ; " 
no one has, however, been able to discover the ordinance 
by which it was appointed, nor any earlier notice of it 
by name, although the mark itself is plain enough upon 
plate of generations before that time. 

Those who would claim for it the highest degree of 
antiquity depend upon the supposed mention of a 
" sayer's " mark in addition to the maker's mark and 
the leopard's head crowned in a goldsmith's ordinance, 
attributed by Mr. Chaffers to the year 1336. 

No such ordinance is, however, to be found amongst 
those preserved at Goldsmiths' Hall, the very earliest of 
which profess themselves to be in accordance " with the 
acts of diverse Parliaments/' and cannot therefore be 
nearly so early as that year. It is, however, pretty clear 
how the mistake arose. 

Mr. Herbert, in his history of the Goldsmiths' Com- 
pany,* gives a summary of the provisions contained in 
their "ancient ordinances," in the course of which all 



* Herbert's "History of the Livery Companies," vol. ii., 11 o. 



chap, in.] THE DATE LETTEE. 71 

three marks, including a sayer's mark, and also the 
" assay er's book," are mentioned, but without any dates. 
His paragraph proceeds as follows : — 

" The entries as to the assay just given show the 
practice to have been very early exercised by the com- 
pany ; in addition to the notice of William Speron in 
1336 (now five hundred years ago), we find it ordained 
in 1366 by general assent that none of the fraternity 
shall go to fairs, to trade, without having all the goods 
of the mystery [goldsmiths* work] first assayed before 
the wardens for the year; and, in 1444, a member is 
fined 6s. Sd. c for withstondyng the wardens in taking of 
assaie/ ;; 

On an earlier page Mr. Herbert had given some 
extracts from the accounts of the company, and amongst 
them the following entry of the year 1336 of Edward III., 
" Argent bailie, a William Speron, des anfcian^s cest 
assaie vi s viij d" 

It is plain that Mr. Chaffers has connected the year 
mentioned in one* sentence with the ordinances referred 
to in another, and attributed to an annual letter as an 
assayer's mark a date that referred only to an early 
mention of the assay itself. There seems no ground for 
attaching William Speron's date to any part of Mr. 
Herbert's summary of the ordinances. That summary is 
an accurate one of all the successive ordinances taken 
together, but if the originals are examined in detail it 
will be seen that whilst in the earlier of the ordinances 
the assayer's mark was the leopard's head, in those of 
1507 and of 1513 another assayer's mark is mentioned 
for the first time. 

It will be remembered also that in the ancient Acts of 
1363 and 1423 the mark to be affixed by the surveyor, 
" gardien," or warden is always described as the king's 



72 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. hi. 

mark, or leopard's head ; and although all the marks to 
be used are described in detail in these enactments, no 
mention whatever is to be found of any mark besides 
that leopard's head mark and the mark of the maker. 
The terms " assay er" and "warden" refer to one and 
the same officer, for the assay was then conducted by the 
wardens, or "their deputy, the assay er ordained thereto, " 
to quote from one of the ordinances. 

A more moderate antiquity has been assigned to it by 
Mr. Octavius Morgan, who, finding that with certain 
exceptions he was able to obtain examples of all the 
various alphabets used from 1438 but none earlier, came 
to the conclusion, for the reasons we are about to give, 
that that date was the period of the first adoption of the 
annual letter. 

It has already been seen from the proceedings of the 
Montpellier goldsmiths that, in consequence of repeated 
and increased frauds, new securities were invented from 
time to time to provide against them, till at last, in the 
year 1427, it was ordained as a fresh security that, in 
order to insure the fineness of the articles assayed after 
that time, the name of the warden of the mystery 
inscribed on the register of the city should be followed 
by one of the letters of the alphabet, which letter should 
be reproduced beneath the arms of the town on the piece 
of plate, in order that it might be known under what 
warden it was made, so that in effect he might be held 
answerable for having made a fraudulent assay, and 
suffered bad silver to be sold as good standard. The 
fact of the Montpellier ordinances giving the specific 
reason for the introduction of a new mark seems very 
like the origin of it, and it led Mr. Morgan to attri- 
bute the first invention and adoption of this mark to 
the authorities of Montpellier in 1427. When once 



chap, in.] THE DATE LETTER. 73 

adopted in one place, it probably soon became a custom 
in others as an improved security against fraud, and the 
date of the first alphabet of the English use of which 
any trace is to be found, commencing as it does in 1438, 
very well agrees with the supposition of that being the 
period of its first introduction into this country. 

Further than this, it is a curious coincidence that the 
Act rendering the wardens responsible for abuses com- 
mitted during their respective periods of office is that of 
1423, which provides for the first time that " if it may 
be found that the keeper of the touch touch any such 
harness with the leopard's head except it be as fine in 
allay as the sterling, that then the keeper of the touch for 
everything so proved not as good in allay as the said 
sterling, shall forfeit the double value to the king and the 
party." 

What more probable than that here, as in France, the 
want of some means of fixing the right offender in each 
case with the responsibility for his default was soon felt, 
and that the Goldsmiths' Company in 1438 adopted the 
practice that had ten years before commended itself to 
their brethren of Montpellier? In 1477 the date letter 
was certainly in use, but it is not recognised in the im- 
portant Act of that year, although the provisions of 1423 
as to the responsibility of the wardens under penalties 
for what should have been done by them during their 
wardenship are repeated, and the omission is no doubt 
accounted for by the fact that the warden's mark, not 
being a mark ordered by Parliament, but a domestic 
arrangement of the Goldsmiths' Company to fix the 
right warden with any default, would not be officially 
noticed by the legislature in the same manner as the 
leopard's head and the maker's mark. 

In any of the goldsmiths' own ordinances we should, 



7-l« OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. hi. 

however, expect by this time to find something about it ; 
and accordingly, in those of 1507 and 1513, as we shall 
remember, an assayer's mark, in addition to the leopard's 
head and the maker's mark, is distinctly mentioned; and 
as the date letter was not only in use but the only mark 
used except the two others just mentioned, it was clearly 
the assayer's mark here referred to. In this view it is 
possible to antedate the first positive mention of it from 
1597 to 1507, or ninety years. 

Again, the statute of Elizabeth in 1576 asserts the 
liability of the wardens, and ordained that if any article 
shall be touched for good by the wardens and there shall 
afterwards be found fraud or deceit therein, the warden 
shall pay forfeit the value of the thing so marked. 

All this tends to show that the object of our annual 
date letter was the same as in the case of Montpellier, 
and it is confirmed by .the author of the "Touchstone," 
who, speaking of the date letter, says : " The reason of 
changing thereof is (as I conceive) for that by the afore- 
said recited statutes, it is provided that if any silver work 
that is worse than sterling be marked with the Company's 
marks, the wardens and corporation for the time being shall 
make recompence to the party grieved, so that if any such 
default shall happen they can tell by the letter on the work 
in what year it was assayed and marked, and thereby 
know which of their own officers deceived them, and from 
them obtain over a recompence."* 

It is only fair to say that some consider England to 
have given the lead to France in these matters. A dis- 
tinguished writer in the " Quarterly Eeview " f remarks 
that, to judge by dates, " the change from makers' marks 



* From the second edition, published in 1G79. 

t Quarterly Eeview, article " Plate and Plate-buyers," April, 1ST 1 



chap, in.] THE DATE LETTER. 75 

alone to guild marks preceded in England, by more than 
half a century, the same change in France : " and he 
cites a letter of Charles V., written in 1376, which seems 
to speak of a maker's mark only, as follows : 

" Quelconques orfevres ne porront tenir ne lever forge 
ne ouvrer en chambre secrete se ilz ne sont approuvez 
devant les maistres du mestier et estre temoigner soujji- 
sament de tenir forge et d' avoir poingon a contresaign et 
autrement non" 

This hardly, however, precludes the possibility of there 
being other marks also in use at the same time, and the 
wording seems taken from earlier statutes, in which the 
touch of Paris is ordained as a standard, as, for instance, 
those of King John of France in 1355, which again are 
themselves only letters of confirmation of still more ancient 
regulations, taking us back as far as 1260. 

The parallel passages from King John's letter of con- 
firmation provides that he who wishes to be a goldsmith 
of Paris must either be apprenticed, "'ou qu'il soit tel 
eprouve par les maistres et bonnes gens du mestier estre 
souffisant estre orfevre et de tenir et lever forge et 
a" avoir poinpon a contreseing ; " but a later clause adds 
that, " nul orfevre ne pent ouvrer a" or a Paris quil ne 
soit a la touche de Paris, ou meilleur la quelle touche 
passe tons les ors dont Von euvre en mille terres. ,} It 
must have been long a celebrated touch to be spoken of 
in such terms, and it is clear that in 1300 the lily was 
well known and recognised even here in England as the 
Paris mark ; * add to this that Philip le Hardi had 
ordained in 1275 that each city should have a particular 
mark for works of silver. In all these cases the word 
"touch" must be taken to refer to the mark by which the 



* Wardrobe accounts of that year, 28 Edward I. (see p. 23). 



76 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. hi. 

quality of the metal is certified as well as to that quality 
itself. It is so used in our own early statutes, in which 
the phrases "touched with the touch," ''bearing the 
touch," " touched with the leopard's head," occur as well 
as another set of expressions in which it is used rather 
to denote the standard of the metal, for instance, " gold 
of a certain touch." 

" Spones marked with the touche of London " are 
mentioned in a will proved in the Canterbury Prerogative 
Court in 1463; and "spones having the toche of the 
goldesmyths" in another will of 1522. 

The foregoing remarks, it will be observed, deal with 
the comparative antiquity of the leopard's head and the 
lily quite as much as with the English and French date 
letters ; indeed they apply to either pair of marks alike, 
and have only found a place here rather than earlier, be- 
cause they followed naturally upon a comparison of the 
periods at which the guilds of London and Montpellier 
respectively adopted a warden's mark. 

Some might say, as we have seen, that neither 
leopard's head nor lily are guild marks properly so- 
called, but rather the marks of the royal or national 
standard in the two countries, at all events in the case of 
England, where everything seems to point to the date 
letter as the only special mark of the London guild. It is 
the date letter which is described in 1597 as the mark 
approved by ordinance amongst the goldsmiths them- 
selves, whereas the two other marks then used are " Her 
Majesty's " and " appointed by statute " respectively. 

It would be somewhat of an anomaly to find that 
of all places in the world, London should have been the 
one without a peculiar mark of its own, other than its 
date letter, if it were not that in times when the Gold- 
smiths' Company was the only keeper of the national 



chap, in.] THE DATE LETTER. 77 

touch, that touch might so easily come to be regarded in 
practice almost as much the mark of the guild as of the 
standard. It is a point of no practical importance, at 
all events since the appointment of a special mark for 
each provincial assay office ; but to be strictly accurate, 
we should have to say that London plate is distinguished 
by the absence of any provincial mark rather than by 
the presence of any special mark of its own, unless we 
admit the claim of its peculiar series of date-letters to 
that character. These it has undeniably used from 1438, 
in the form of a succession of alphabets, each consisting 
of twenty letters ; J, U or V, W, X, Y and Z, being the 
letters omitted. From 1561-2 they have, with hardly 
an exception, been enclosed in regular heraldic shields of 
various shapes, but till then the letters are surrounded 
with a line more or less closely following their own out- 
line ; the ends of the punches having been originally of 
the shape of the letters they bore, and afterwards of a 
shield shape, with the letter sunk in the centre of the 
shield. The most notable exceptions to this rule are 
the letters L of 1726-7, and M of the following year, 
which are often, if not always, found on a square punch. 
From 1716, if not earlier, more than one size of punch 
is found to have been used, large and small articles 
having been stamped with marks of different sizes, the 
smaller ones being often on plain square punches with the 
corners cut off, instead of in more heraldic shields. 

The introduction of a shield in 1561, in the middle of 
an alphabet, be it noted, curiously enough coincides 
exactly with the restoration of the old sterling standard 
silver by Queen Elizabeth, which has been spoken of in 
the preceding chapter; and the probability that an event 
of such importance to the Goldsmiths' Company was 
marked by them in this or some other particular way 



78 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. hi. 

suggested a careful examination of the journals of the 
Company, which resulted in the discovery of the follow- 
ing minute for 16 December, 1560 : — 

' ' Also forasmuch, as Mr. Wardens and the Assistants have found that 
the moneys of our sovereign Lady the Quene conteyne in fynesso 
(xi oz.) eleven ounces and upward therefore it is by them agreed that 
after the feast of the Epiphaine of our Lord God next comynge the 
assaymaster and wardens of this companie shall touch no plate under the 
fynesse of (xi oz. ii dwt) eleven ounces two pennie weight and for a 
certe knowledge to be had betwene the same plate and other before 
touched it is agreed that the letter of the yeare shal be grayved round 
about for a difference." 

This positive proof of the reason for the shield lends 
additional weight to the suggestion which is to be made 
when the lion passant comes under notice, that its inven- 
tion in 1545 marks the divergence of the standard of the 
silver coinage from that of silver plate which then took 
place. It would be very odd if the degradation of the 
coinage from the sterling quality maintained throughout 
for plate, and its subsequent restoration to that standard 
of purity, were events of two years, in each of which is 
found to occur a novel feature in the system of hall- 
marking practised by the Goldsmiths' Company, and if 
one of the alterations in the marks, but not the other, 
were connected with the coincident changes of the 
standard. 

The letters have been annually changed on the day of 
election of the new wardens, that being St. Dunstan's 
Day prior to the Eestoration ; the new punches were 
accordingly handed to the assay-warden for use, on or 
about May 19th in each year, and were continued to the 
same time in the year following. Since 1660 the new 
punches have been first used on the morning of May 
30th, the new wardens having been elected the day before. 

No entry is found of the letter for the year in the 
goldsmiths' journals, until the occurrence of some clis- 



chap, in.] THE DATE LETTER. 79 

pute with the officers of the assay, after which the letters 
were mentioned. Their earliest note is of the letter 
for 1629, but from that time the notices are sufficiently 
regular to indicate the character of all the alphabets. 
For the earlier letters, it was only by the examination of a 
great many pieces of ancient plate, chiefly belonging to 
public companies, colleges, corporations, and churches of 
which the histories are known, that Mr. Octavius Morgan 
was able to collect the information necessary to enable 
him to construct a table of the alphabets used. The diffi- 
culty was increased by the obvious fact that the dates 
which are engraved on ancient plate cannot always be 
relied on for the date of the work. Oftentimes pieces 
of plate which individuals or their families have had in 
their possession for many years, have afterwards been 
given or bequeathed by them to public bodies, and then 
the date of the gift is recorded in the inscription, which 
will not agree with the period of the work. Again, plate 
given to public bodies, having been worn out, has been re- 
made at subsequent periods, or exchanged for more use- 
ful articles, and the original date has been engraved on 
the new-made piece. As an illustration of this difficulty, 
one of the loving cups of the Goldsmiths' Company itself 
goes by the name of " Hanbury's Cup," and bears 
engraved on it the record of its having been the gift of 
Eichard Hanbury in 1608. The form and workmanship of 
the cup are clearly of the period of Charles II., and that 
was confirmed by the annual letter. In searching the 
books of the Company, Mr. Morgan found by accident 
a memorandum stating that " Hanbury's cup, weight 60 
oz., was sold with other plate in 1637, and re-made in 
1666." This latter date agrees precisely with the annual 
letter it bears. The present writer's experiences on this 
point are the same. He was somewhat surprised to find, 



80 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap, hi, 

when examining the plate of the Salters' Company, that 
though bearing the arms and dates of Sir Nicholas Crispe, 
Knt. and Bart, and other great salters of the reign of 
Charles I. and Charles IL, it all seemed made in 1716 by 
a well-known goldsmith named Humphrey Payne. At 
last a Monteith dated 1660 appeared. This was too 
much ; and a reference to the old books of the Company 
became necessary, upon which the following curious facts, 
which had been entirely lost sight of and forgotten, 
appeared: — That the Company had resolved, in 1711, to 
sell all their plate, after carefully registering the weights 
of the articles, and also the dates, names, and arms of 
the donors which might be engraved upon them, in order 
to invest the proceeds in lottery tickets (it will be 
remembered that State lotteries were then just a new 
thing, having been first authorised by Parliament in 
1709) ; that in 1716, it being determined to replace the 
plate, the lottery tickets were sold, and tenders by 
London goldsmiths were invited ; it further appeared 
that the tender of Humphrey Payne and Co., being the 
lowest of three sent in, was accepted, and plate of the 
same weight, but not in articles of the same description, 
as that sold in 1711, was accordingly made by him for 
the Company ; and it was ordered that the names, arms, 
and dates of the donors of the old plate should be 
placed upon the new. 

In this way were gradually put together the alphabets 
published in 1853 by Mr. Octavius Morgan, who suc- 
ceeded in ascertaining the forms of no less than sixty- 
five letters previously unknown, including specimens of 
every alphabet but one as far back as 1438. To these 
many more have now been added, and some of the 
occasional gaps later than 1629, which existed in the 
original tables, filled up. Some time after their publica- 



cha.p. in.] THE DATE LETTER. 81 

tion by Mr. Morgan, these alphabets were reproduced 
with the addition of shields, by Mr. W. Chaffers, who 
seems to have adopted Mr. Morgan's tables and data ; 
but some of the letters, and the shields in many cases, 
were incorrect, and a somewhat doubtful improvement 
upon the original tables thus laboriously compiled. 

The cycles of twenty years seem to have proceeded 
regularly from 1438 to 1696, when, on the occasion of 
the new standard being introduced and new marks 
appointed for it, a fresh alphabet was commenced. The 
entries in the Goldsmiths' minutes are as follows : — 

" a.d. 1696, May 29th. — New puncheons received ; the 

letter for the year being t in a scutcheon |4jM. 

" a.d. 1697, March 27th.— The puncheons for the re- 
maining part of this year were received, being according 
to an Act of Parliament, a Lyon's head erased, a Britannia, 
and for the letter the great court & in an escutcheon 



m- 



It must be borne in mind that as the new letters were 
not fixed till May 29 th, each letter served for a portion 
of two years, even in days before the change of style. 
This t and &, therefore, between them, served as the 
letters for the goldsmiths' year 1696-7, that is, for the 
year beginning May 30th, 1696 ; the court hand ft for 
1697-8 coming into use on May 30th, 1697. 

Some instances of a letter U for the year 1697-8 are 
said to exist ; and if so, no doubt it is upon articles 
made, but not marked or sold, previous to the adoption 
of the new standard. It would have been very hard on 
those who had expended time and skill upon old sterling 
silver in the year 1696-7, with no notice of the impend- 
ing alteration in the standard, if such wares had been 



82 OLD ENGLISH PLATE [chap. hi. 

thereby rendered unsaleable. The act was, however, so 
worded as to avoid doing this injustice, and such articles 
would be stamped with the old marks, including the " tt" 
that would have denoted 1697-8 in ordinary course. 
The new court-hand alphabet was applicable only to 
plate of the new standard inaugurated with it. 

New and carefully constructed tables of the alphabets 
and their shields or other inclosures, are given at the end 
of this volume. 

THE LION PASSANT. 

There is no mark better known and none less understood 
than the lion passant. Far from being the ancient sign 
of sterling silver, it is not found at all until the middle 
of the sixteenth century. The most careful enquiry has 
failed to produce an earlier instance than one of the year 
1545, and it is not mentioned in any statute, ordinance 
or other proceeding until the indictment by the Attorney- 
General in 1597, in which it is called Her Majesty's 
Lion, whilst the other two marks are described respec- 
tivly as " the leopard's head limited by statute" and 
" the alphabetical mark approved by ordinance amongst 
themselves " (i.e., the Goldsmiths' Company). 

In earlier days the leopard's head was the king's mark; 
does the lion passant now take its place ? 

Its origin, intention, and even the precise date of its 
introduction are all equally obscure ; it is never found 
before 1540, nor is it ever absent after 1545 ; but there 
is no article of plate known to exist of any of the inter- 
vening years, in one or other of which it must have been 
introduced. Its description in 1597 would imply that it 
had been appointed to be used by some royal order, but 
the minutes of the Privy Council and the records of the 
Goldsmiths' Company have alike been searched in vain ; 



chap, in.] THE LION PASSANT. 83 

there is no mention of it in the latter, and the volume of 
the former for just this period is almost the only one of 
a long series that is missing. We are .therefore thrown 
back upon a conjecture, but one which there seems good 
ground for adopting. 

It will be remembered that it was in 1542 that the 
fineness of the silver coin of the realm was, for the first time 
since the Conquest, lowered ; not that the pound sterling 
of silver had not been lessened in value several times in 
that long period, but it had always been effected by 
diminishing its weight, leaving the fineness of the silver 
unaltered. In 1542, however, Henry VIII. not only 
diminished the weight but reduced the standard from 
11 ounces 2 dwts. fine to 10 ounces fine, and again 
in 1544 from 10 ounces to 6 ounces, leaving but 6 
ounces of fine silver in a troy pound, this being followed 
by a further and final degradation in 1545. It will also 
be remembered that the touch of the leopard's head 
crowned certified only that the silver was " of the alloy 
of the sterling or better." What security then would 
the buyer have had after 1542 that plate bought by him 
was of any better silver than the debased coinage of the 
day ? None whatever. May we not, therefore, hazard 
a conjecture that the lion passant was then adopted to 
show that plate bearing it was not only as good as the 
coin, but was of the old sterling standard ? 

No later writer has attempted to penetrate the mystery 
since Mr. Octavius Morgan first drew attention to it, and 
the Quarterly Reviewer, in 1876, who may be taken to 
sum up modern learning on the point, does so in a wish 
that "some of those laborious gentlemen who are engaged 
in calendering the State Papers, may fall, in the course 
of their researches, on some Order in Council or Gra- 
cious Proclamation enjoining the addition of this royal 

g 2 



84 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. hi. 

lion — for it at least came out of the coat- armour of the 
sovereign — to the three marks rendered imperative by 
statute." 

From 1545 the lion passant, or more properly 
lion passant guardant, has invariably been found upon 
silver of the old sterling, and until 1844 upon standard 
gold; and, whilst it must be confessed that this theory 
does not account for its appearance on gold plate, there 
is nothing improbable in the assumption that it was 
thought convenient, on its adoption for silver for the 
reason we have given, to adopt it also for gold for the 
sake of uniformity in the standard marks. It is an 
important landmark to the archaeologist, for whilst its 
presence or absence alone tells him something, the 
alterations which are observed in its size and shape 
from time to time are often of material assistance to him 
in fixing the date of the articles on which it appears. 

THE LION'S HEAD ERASED AND FIGURE OE BRITANNIA. 

Of these two marks there is little to be said. They 
were appointed by the statute of 1696-7, which raised the 
standard for silver plate from 11 ounces 2 dwts. to 11 
ounces 10 dwts. fine, in order to distinguish the plate so 
made from that which had previously been made of silver 
of the old sterling, and they were for this purpose substi- 
tuted for the leopard's head crowned and lion passant. 

The new marks were in sole use from March 27, 1697, 
until June, 1720, when the old sterling standard was 
restored and its own old marks with it, not, however, to 
the exclusion of the new. Since that year, therefore, 
both standards, each to bear its own marks, have been 
legal. For some short time after the restoration of the 
old standard a good deal of plate made of .the new or 



chap, in.] LION'S HEAD EKASED AND BEITANNIA. 85 

higher standard silver seems still to have been stamped, 
but it quickly fell into disuse, and, after 1732 or there- 
abouts, the lion's head erased and the Britannia are very 
rarely to be met with. The higher standard is occa- 
sionally used even at the present day, and in such cases 
is of course distinguished by its proper marks. 

The Britannia stamp is sometimes found of a rect- 
angular and at others of an oval shape, and in one 
instance that has come under the writer's notice it is 
absent altogether, a set of loving cups of the year 1716 
in the possession of the Worshipful Company of Salters 
bearing no Britannia, but instead of it a second impres- 
sion of the lion's head erased placed beside the first, and 
of a different size. It may be noted also that several 
pieces of plate bearing irregular marks occur in the year 
or two next after the restoration of the old sterling 
standard in 1720. For old sterling silver some of the 
punches disused since 1697 seem to have been put into 
commission again, and some confusion was occasioned 
by the two sets of marks being in daily use at the assay- 
office. The writer has seen a candlestick bearing both 
o]d and new standard marks. Even more remarkable is 
a salver of 1721 bearing the Britannia and an old 
leopard's head crowned, but both obliterated, the former 
by having a lion passant and the latter a lion's head 
erased stamped over it. The original combination and 
the correction are equally without meaning. 

THE SOVEKEIGN'S HEAD. 

This mark is found on all plate that has been liable to 
the duty imposed in 1784 (24 Geo. III. c. 53) ; that is 
to say, upon all plate liable to be assayed, the only 
exemptions from the control of the assay-offices, and 
therefore from duty, being : — 



86 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. 



[CHAP. III. 



(1). Certain gold articles exempted by 12 Geo. II. 
c. 26.* 

(2). Certain silver articles exempted by 30 Geo. III. 
c. 31. | 



* 12 Geo. II. c. 26.— 

Exemptions : — 

s. 2. Any jewellers' works, that is 
to say, any gold or silver wherein 
any jewels or other stones are or 
shall be set (other than mourning 
rings), any jointed night ear-rings 
of gold, or gold springs of lockets. 

s. 6. Rings, collets for rings, or 
other jewels, chains, necklace beads, 
lockets, hollow or raised buttons, 
sleeve buttons, thimbles, corral 
sockets and bells, ferrils, pipe- 
lighters, cranes for bottles, very 
small book-clasps, any stock or 
garter clasps jointed, very small 
nutmeg-graters, rims of snuff- 
boxes whereof tops or bottoms are 
made of shell or stone, sliding pen- 
cils, tooth-pick cases, tweezer cases, 
pencil cases, needle cases, any 
philligree work, any sorts of tip- 
pings or swages on stone or ivory 
cases, any mounts, screws, or 
stoppers to stone or glass bottles or 
phials, any small or slight orna- 
ments put to amber or other eggs 
or urns, any wrought seals, or 
seals with cornelians or other stones 
set therein, or any gold or silver 
vessel, plate, or manufacture of 
gold or silver so richly engraved, 
carved, or chased, or set with jewels 
or other stones, as not to admit of 
an assay to be taken of, or a mark 
to be struck thereon, without da- 
maging, prejudicing, or defacing 
the same, or such other things as 
by reason of the smallness or thin- 
ness thereof are not capable of re- 



ceiving the marks hereinbefore 
mentioned, or any of them, and 
not weighing ten pennyweights of 
gold or silver each, 
f 30 Geo. III. c. 31.— 

Exemptions : — 

s. 3. Chains, necklace beads, 
lockets, any philligree work, shirt 
buckles or broaches, stamped 
medals, or spouts to china, stone 
or earthenware teapots, or any of 
them, of any weight whatsoever. 

s. 4. Tippings, swages or mounts, 
or any of them, not weighing ten 
pennyweights of silver each, save 
and except only necks and collars 
for castors, cruets or glasses apper- 
taining to any sort of stands or 
frames. 

s. 5. Any wares of silver what- 
soever not weighing five penny- 
weights of silver each, save and ex- 
cept only the following silver wares 
(that is to say), necks, collars and 
tops for castors, cruets or glasses 
appertaining to any sort of stands 
or frames, buttons to be affixed to 
or set on any wearing apparel, 
solid sleeve buttons and solid studs, 
not having a bissilled edge soldered 
on, wrought seals, blank seals, 
bottle tickets, shoe clasps, patch 
boxes, salt spoons, salt shovels, 
salt ladles, tea spoons, tea strainers, 
caddy ladles, buckles (shirt buckles 
or broaches before mentioned ex- 
cepted), and pieces to garnish cabi- 
nets, or knife cases, or tea chests, 
or bridles, or stands or frames. 



chap, in.] THE SOVEEEIGN'S HEAD. 87 

(3). Watch-cases, by 38 Geo. III. c. 24. 

(4). The three lower standards of gold, by 17 & 18 
Vict. c. 96. 

It must, however, be remarked that, until 1790, the 
silver as well as the gold exempted was under the pro- 
visions of 12 Geo. II. c. 26, which were repealed as to 
silver by 30 Geo. III. c. 31 ; and also that by 18 & 19 
Vict. c. 60, wedding-rings pay duty even though of less 
weight than 10 dwts. 

The mark itself, when first introduced, was in intaglio 
instead of in relief, looking like the matrix of a seal 
instead of its impression ; in this form it is found in 
conjunction with the letters f and It, standing for 1784-5 
and 1785-6 respectively, specimens of both of which are 
in the writer's possession, and the profile is, in these 
cases, turned to the left. 

After the end of the latter year it is always found in 
relief like the other assay-marks, and with the profile 
to the right. Her Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria is, 
however, turned to the left again. 

It may be added that a duty of sixpence per ounce 
troy was first imposed upon plate in 1 720 when the old 
standard of silver was revived and by the same statute, 
but it was taken off again in 1758 (31 Geo. II. c. '32) 
by an act which substituted a dealer's licence costing 
40s. per annum.'"" 

The act of 1784 re- imposed a duty, but this time of 
85. per ounce on gold plate, as well as 6d. per ounce 



* Dealers' licences are now regulated by 30 & 31 Vict. c. 90. 

Dealers in gold exceeding 2 dwts. and under 2 oz. ) £2 Gs. 
,, silver ,, 5 ,, ,, 30 ,, ) per annum. 

,, gold 2 oz. or upwards 

,, silver 30 oz. or upwards ^ £5 15s, per annum. 

Gold and silver refiners, etc. 



88 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. hi. 

on silver, which amounts were, omitting intermediate 
stages, increased finally in 1815 (55 Geo. III. c. 185) to 
17s. per ounce for gold, and Is. 6d. for silver, calculated 
on fths of the weight to allow for waste in finishing. 
At these rates they now stand, the duty being paid 
through Goldsmiths' Hall at the time of assaying, and 
the money is returned with the articles if they are cut 
as being below the proper standard. 

A drawback of the whole duty is allowed upon plate 
made in the United Kingdom for export and exported 
new. The act of 1784 directed that such plate should 
be specially marked with a figure of Britannia which 
was used like the first stamp of the king's head as an 
intaglio ; this direction was, however, repealed by 25 
Geo. III. c. 64, in consequence of the damage done to 
plate by stamping it after it was finished, and the mark 
disused after an existence of only seven months. The 
provisions as to the drawback itself were not altered. 



CHAPTEK IV. 

THE PEOVINCIAL ASSAY TOWNS AND THEIE MARKS 
PEIOE TO 1701. 

The Act of 1423 — Historical notes of the goldsmiths of Newcastle and 
York — The relations of the London with the provincial goldsmiths 
from time to time — Extinction of the old provincial Goldsmiths' 
Companies in 1697 — York — Newcastle-upon-Tyne — Norwich — 
Chester — Exeter — Doubtful provincial marks — Table of old pro- 
vincial marks. 

We now come to the consideration of the marks found 
upon plate assayed in the provinces, but as the act of 
1700 established, or in certain cases re-established, the 
provincial assay-offices on an entirely new basis and with 
entirely new marks to distinguish them, the history of 
provincial marks divides itself into two distinct portions, 
the earlier of which terminates at that year. 

It is not until 1423, that provincial "touches" can 
with any certainty be said to have existed at all. In 
very early days all goldsmiths were required to bring 
their wares to London to be marked ; and even in 1379 
the enactment found on the Eolls of Parliament for 
establishing " an assay of the touch " in cities and 
boroughs under the superintendence of their Mayors and 
Governors, with the aid of the Master of the Mint, if 
there be one, who should put the mark of the city or 
borough where it was assayed upon plate, does not, as 
we have already seen, appear to have become law. 



90 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. it. 

At best, for reasons already given, its provisions were 
but temporary ; and it is clear that even in parts of Eng- 
land distant from the metropolis there was no general 
custom at this time of marking plate with peculiar 
local marks ; indeed, there is some direct evidence to 
the contrary in the claims of the Wardens of the Gold- 
smiths in 1404 to have had the right from time im- 
memorial to have the governance of all manner of gold 
and silver work as well within the city of London "as 
elsewhere within the kingdom of England.'" 

Let us quote, as an instance of the exercise of this 
jurisdiction, the case of one John of Eochester, who, in 
1414, was taken by the master of the trade of goldsmiths 
there for counterfeiting mazer bonds in copper and brass 
plated over with silver or gilded, and brought up to 
London, having sold them within the City.* 

It is not clear, from this particular instance, whether 
the jurisdiction of the governors of the craft in London 
would or would not have extended to the case, if the 
fraudulent wares had been sold as well as made in 
Eochester ; it on]y shows that the maker of articles, sold 
as these were within the City, was amenable to it where- 
ever he resided and worked. Had they been sold in 
Eochester or elsewhere in the provinces, the case would 
probably have been dealt with in the same manner, but 
without bringing the culprit up to London ; the " venue/' 
to borrow a legal phrase, would have been local. At all 
events, with the increase of population, the necessity of 
sending every article of plate to London to be stamped, 
became a greater hardship upon country goldsmiths, and 
the legislation, which proposed to meet it in 1379, 
shows that a need of some such measure was already 



Riley's " Memorials of London-and London Life." 



chap, iv.] PEOVINCIAL TOUCHES ESTABLISHED. 91 

found to exist. Accordingly, less than half a century- 
later, in 1423,* the divers touches of York, Newcastle- 
upon-Tyne, Lincoln, Norwich, Bristol, Salisbury, and 
Coventry, were set up " according to the ordinance of 
Mayors, Bailiffs, or Governors of the said towns ; " and 
it was enacted, "that no goldsmith nor other workers 
of silver nor keepers of the said touches within the 
said towns shall set to sell nor touch any silver in 
other manner than is ordained before, within the City 
of London," upon pain of forfeiture. The act further 
provides that no goldsmith anywhere in England should 
work silver of worse allay than the sterling, nor without 
setting his mark or sign upon it before he set it to sale, 
upon the same penalties- as if in London; and it em- 
powered justices of the peace, mayors, and bailiffs to 
hear and enquire of such matters. 

Mints had been established at York and Bristol in the 
preceding year, possibly also in the other places now 
associated with them ; and it is well ascertained that 
most, if not all, of these cities had guilds or fraternities 
of goldsmiths already established in them. 

As to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, it would appear t that at 
so remote a period as 1249, Henry III. commanded the 
bailiffs and good men to choose four of the most prudent 
and trusty men of their town for the office of moneyers 
there ; and other four like persons for keeping the king's 
mint in that town, also two fit and prudent goldsmiths 
to be assay ers of the money to be made there. In 1536 
the goldsmiths were, by an ordinary, incorporated with 
the plumbers and glaziers, and the united Company 
required to go together, on the Feast of Corpus Christi, 



* 2 Henry VI. c. 14. 
f From ' ' An impartial History 
of the Town and County of New- 



castle-upon-Tyne," published 
anonymously in 1801, p. 429. 



92 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. iv. 

and maintain their play of " the three Kings of Coleyn." 
They were to have four wardens, one goldsmith, one 
plumber, one glazier, and one pewterer or painter ; and it 
is quaintly added that no Scotchman born should be 
taken apprentice or suffered to work in Newcastle. They 
had their hall in Maden Tower granted them in the 
mayoralty of Sir Peter Eiddell in 1619, and the associa- 
tion of the goldsmiths with the other tradesmen seems 
to have lasted till 1 702. 

There is an astonishingly early mention of Durham in 
the Wardrobe accounts of 28 Edward I, in which a 
pastoral staff is described as " de opere Dunolm ; " and as 
to York, "coclearia facta in Ebor," are bequeathed in a 
York will of as early a date as 1366. 

In the latter city the art seems to have flourished, and 
the names of many goldsmiths working there during the 
latter half of the fourteenth and in the following century 
are known : Alan de Alnewyk, goldsmith of York, whose 
shop was in " Stayngate," bequeaths, in 1374, his tools 
to his kinsman William, when he shall attain twenty 
years of age, provided he attain that age " in bona con- 
versation ad discendum ad scolas et ad artem aurifabri," 
quaintly adding " ac sit humilis, ac bonorum morum nee 
arguendo uxorem meam," or in plain English, that he 
must keep on good terms with the testator's widow. 
The names of two goldsmiths, Wormod and Jonyn, 
almost certainly of York, occur in the will of an arch- 
deacon of Richmond proved at York in 1400 ; and the 
wife of a third, bearing a no less singular name, Wermbolt 
Harlam, leaves her gold-knopped ring, in 1401, to the 
wife of John Angowe, a craftsman of the same mystery. 
Besides these the wills of two goldsmiths settled at York 
in the fifteenth century, both of them containing interest- 
ing trade details, are to be found amongst those proved 



chap, iv.] ANCIENT YOEK GOLDSMITHS. 93 

in that city. By one of them, John Luneburgh, in 1458, 
leaves some of his working tools to his friends and fellow 
goldsmiths, Eobert Spicer and John Pudsay, and 6s. Sd. 
to the craft, — " aurifabrorum arti," — towards buying a 
new silver crown. His small stock-in-trade included, 
amongst other things, the following articles, viz : — " in- 
cudem meam secundariam et j malleum vocatum j 
forchyngamer, sex limas vocatas files et vj gravers, 
incudem meam minimi valoris in opeM mea j planys- 
shing stithy et j planysshing hamer." The other will, 
that of John Colam, dated 1490, gives us a full inventory 
of the working tools and appliances then considered 
necessary for carrying on the goldsmith's business. The 
contents of his " opella," from its quaint spelling and 
curious mixture of Latin, French, and English words, 
form a list too curious to curtail. 



Opella. De j lez wirkyng bord cum j lez deske xx d 
De ij stethez iij s iiij d 
De ij sparhawke stethez x d 
De vi grett lez forgeyng hamers ij s 
De v lez planeshyng hamers xii d 
De j lez hake hamer et j lez strenyng hamer iij d 
De v small lez clenches iiij d 
De ij lez spoyn tayses x d 
De ij lez stampis xiiij d 
De iij lez swages vi d 

De j lez rownde stake cum j lez flatt stake et j lez nebid stake iiij d 
De iiij paribus de lez sherithez xvi d 

De j pari de lez spanne taynges cum ij paribus de lez plyorys iii d 
De ij paribus de lez fyre taynges cum j pari parvo lez taynges vii d 
De j shavyng hooke cum j lez standard cupri v d 
De j long lez lokker cum lez pounsones xx d 
De ij lez drawyng teynges cum ij lez drawyng toyllys xiiij d 
De ij lez paribus of skaylettes cum pertinentiis ihj d 
De j parvo lez stethe cum lez hoylles in it j d 
De ij lez yngottes cum j pari lez pounsones iiij d 
De j lez lokker cum lez gravers et lez shavers iiij d 
De j candelabro cum lez fayn j d 
De j lez lokker cum lez fyilles viiij d 
De ij aliis lez lokkers cum lez pounsones iiij d 



94 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. iy. 

De j rownd lez stampe auricalci cum ij lez bossellys ij d 
De j parvo lez tryblett cum j pair lez wood spanne taynges ob. 
De iiij lez pattron lokkers cum veteribus lez pattrones viij d 
De j lez pyill cum iij paribus lez ballance ij 9 ij d 
De ij paribus balance pro auro iiij d 
De j lez sairse pixide cum j lez reyn spyndyll ij d 
De j lez gylttyng plater cum pertinentiis iiij a 
De j enaymelyng lez lokker vi d 
De j foco cum j pari follium xii d 
De iij tyn peyces x d 
De j veteri lez bord cum lez deske iij d 
De ij lapidibus de lez sclait j d 

Non legata. De j grett lez pyill weght cum j pari balance' v s De j 
osculatorio argenti pond' xii un. et di., pris unc. iij s ij d 

Summa xxxix s vii d 

De iij mirrarum lez bandys cum j pede murrse pond, xii unc. pris 

unc. iij s iiij d , xl s 
De j mirrse lez band cum j lez lokker cum argento fracto pond. 

xii un. et di. xii 8 viii d 
De j arcu argenti cum catapulto argenti et j nola auri v 3 
De j cocliari argenti sine lez knope xii d 
De xx peirlys ii s 
De ij crjstaules viii d 
De iij foliis de lez booke gold iij d 
De j lez heft cultelli de lez greyn cerpentyn j d 
De j lez maser shell xii d 
De j pari balance' j d ; de j lez stampe iiij* 5 
De j Premario vi d 
De ij aliis libris veteribus ij d 
De j cresmatorio de lez tyn ij d 
De j les sarce pixid' ij d 
De j pari precularium de le jeitt ij d 
Le lez swepynges dictee opellse xx s 

Summa ix" iii" x d ob. 

It is worth noticing that the names of several of these 
goldsmiths point to their foreign descent. Luneburgh 
and Harlam must have come from those cities ; Col an, or 
Colam, was not improbably from Cologne ; and the Chris- 
tian name of his son Herman, who is mentioned in his 
will, points in the same direction. But notwithstanding 
these glimpses of the tradesmen of York and their families, 
there is no evidence left of that city, nor any of the others, 
having until much later days exercised the privilege 



chap, iv.] PEOVINCIAL GOLDSMITHS. 95 

conferred upon them in 1423, of touching their plate 
with their own touches. 

The Act of 1477 speaks of the keepers of the touch in 
London and other places ; but in 1488, when the statute 
of that year notices "the rule and order of the mints of 
London, Calice, Canterbury, York, and Durham/' also of 
"the Goldsmith's Hall of London," and recites that " flners 
and parters dwell abroad in every part of the realm out 
of the rules aforesaid," no mention is made of any of the 
country assay offices ; and it may be presumed that they 
did little or no business towards the end of that century. 
Even later, in 1509, it is expressly stated in one of the 
charters of the Goldsmiths' Company in London, that 
search for and punishment of abuses in the trade was 
but seldom executed out of London. 

Possibly the supervision of the Goldsmiths' Company 
in London was exercised at first in a spirit that did not 
encourage the development of the trade in the provinces; 
for the confirmation of their charter by Edward IV. in 
1462, gave them the inspection, trial, and regulation of all 
gold and silver wares, not only in London, but in all 
other parts of the kingdom ; and these powers were 
continually exercised, periodical progresses being made by 
the assay wardens throughout the country for the pur- 
pose. It is recorded, in 1493, that the costs of the 
wardens to " Sturbitch Fair," amounted to £2 ; and 
from the accounts relating to the sixteenth century we 
may take the following extracts : — 

" 1512. Agreed that Mr. Wardens shall ride into the 
country this year, to make search ' in div r s feyres, cytyes, 
and townys,' as they had done in tymes past." 

" 1517. Agreed 'that the wardens shall ryde at Seynt 
Jamys' Feyre ' and to such other places and towns in the 
west parts of England as they shall think most necessary." 



96 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [ohap. iv, 

But such circuits as these were clearly not every-day 
events ; it would seem as if nothing of the kind had 
taken place for some years previously to 1512, and the 
provincial authorities did but little in the absence of any 
higher supervision. 

Much more plate was melted than made during the 
half century which followed this outburst of energy, and 
country goldsmiths gradually fell, equally no doubt 
with those of London, into the abuses which called so 
loudly for enquiry at the commencement of the reign of 
Queen Elizabeth. Up to that time at all events their 
work does not seem to have been held in very high esti- 
mation. The touches of London and Paris are constantly 
mentioned in the wills and inventories of the fifteenth 
century ; that of Bruges is also occasionally referred to ; 
but no mention will be found of any English touch 
except that of London : and in the inventories of church 
furniture made in the reign of Edward VI., in which the 
names of many London goldsmiths occur, there are not to 
be found those of any provincial craftsmen, even in the 
case of parishes far from the capital, and comparatively 
near one or other of the local centres at which that 
mystery would seem to have had a settlement. This is 
the more significant, as in the self-same documents the 
sale of pewter to pewterers resident in various country 
towns is recorded, which would warrant a presumption 
that broken or superfluous silver plate would have been 
in like manner disposed of to neighbouring goldsmiths, 
had there been any such to be found. 

They shared, however, in the general revival of the 
trade that now followed, and provincial marks are often 
found on Elizabethan church plate, which is still in 
abundance in every part of England. This is especially 
the case in the neighbourhood of Norwich, York, and 



chap, iv.] OLD PEOVINCIAL MAEKS. 97 

Exeter ; but in other districts, even the most remote and 
inaccessible from London, the occurrence of any marks 
but those of the Goldsmiths' Company is very rare. 

The mints in the provinces did not flourish so well, for 
the precious metals were somewhat scarce, and much 
was being made into plate. Harrison, chaplain to Lord 
Cobham, writing in 1586, says that divers mints had 
been suppressed within his own recollection, " as South- 
warke and Bristow, and all coinage brought up to one 
place, that is to say, the Tower of London." 

Domestic as well as ecclesiastical plate of country manu- 
facture is not unknown, and the goldsmiths of York and 
Norwich commanded a good deal of the custom of their 
counties. Apostles' spoons are marked at Norwich and 
Exeter in some quantity from 1560 — 1650, some of the 
plate of the Corporation of Norwich was home made 
between 1560 and 1570, and specimens of plate of all 
kinds from that time down to the end of the seventeenth 
century are referable to the goldsmiths of York. 

It is difficult to reconcile this entirely with the account 
given of them by the author of the " Touchstone," who 
writes thus in 1676 of the provincial assay offices some- 
what more contemptuously than they would otherwise 
seem to deserve : " but what are the particular Marks 
the respective chief Governors of those seven places 
set on the Silver works I can give no account thereof. 
But this I can assert, that by reason the Marks of those 
places are little known they bear as little Credit, and 
therefore the Goldsmiths in those and other remote 
places do frequently send up their Silver Works to 
receive the London touch" 

Our practical author remarks upon the obligation of 
country goldsmiths to make their marks known, not 
only to the local chief magistrate but to the wardens of 



98 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. iv. 

the London goldsmiths, who had the ultimate super- 
vision of the craft in all places, including the seven towns ; 
and goes on to comment upon the danger provincial 
corporations ran of losing their charters and being dis- 
franchised in consequence of their lax exercise of their 
duties and privileges, especially " now since by the 
favour of our King's predecessors and their Parliaments 
Goldsmiths in those seven towns are remitted those ex- 
tremities of bringing their vessels of silver to London to 
be stamped with the Leopard Head, but are allowed each 
of them a Touch by themselves to pass their works upon." 

He refers also to the debased quality of work exe- 
cuted in country places, in consequence of the remiss- 
ness of the magistracy in prosecuting their authority in 
making search, assaying and marking the goldsmiths' 
work, and of the infrequency with which the Wardens of 
the Goldsmiths of London made search in the country, 
and strongly recommends intending purchasers of plate 
to spend their money in London.* 

If this was all true, it is not surprising to find that in 
1697 when, owing to the scarcity of silver coin, it was 
desirable to encourage persons having wrought plate to 
bring it to be coined, although it was provided that such 
plate as plainly appeared to have thereupon " the mark 
commonly used at the hall belonging to the company of 
Goldsmiths in London, besides the workman's mark," 
should be received at the mints without question, and paid 
for at the rate of os. Ad. per oz., no cognizance was taken 
of any other marks, all plate not bearing the above 
marks being melted and assayed before it was allowed 
for, unless the vendor were satisfied with a rough valua- 
tion made upon oath by the master of the mint. Lastly, 



* Touchstone for Gold and Silver Wares, pp. 107, 108, 2nd ed. 



chap, it.] OLD PKOVINCIAL TOUCHES ABOLISHED. 99 

whatever doubts there may be as to the prosperity of 
any of the provincial offices up to the year 1697, they 
were all then extinguished at a blow, for the further pro- 
visions of this Act,* after proceeding to establish a higher 
national standard of fineness for silver plate as a protec- 
tion to the coinage which its earlier clauses were intended 
to call into existence, entrusted the marking of all new 
plate to the warden of the craft of the Goldsmiths only, and 
made no mention of any other corporations whatever. 

That great inconvenience was, by this measure, occa- 
sioned to the goldsmiths remote from the city of London 
is clear from the preamble of the Act by which, only three 
years later, in 1700-1, this hardship was removed by the 
appointment of wardens and assay masters for assaying 
wrought plate in the cities of York, Exeter, Bristol, 
Chester and Norwich, being the cities in which mints 
had then lately been erected for re-coining the silver 
monies of the kingdom. Newcastle-upon-Tyne was added 
to the number in 1 702. The next chapter will be devoted 
to these modern offices and their marks, meanwhile it will 
be convenient to notice in detail the ancient marks used 
in the places now under consideration. 

The ground may be somewhat cleared by saying 
that nothing is known at present of any of the touches 
appointed in 1423, except those of York, Norwich, and 
Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Minting certainly was carried on 
at Bristol, but nothing indicates that goldsmith's work 
proper was ever carried on there, nor can any marks be 
appropriated to either Lincoln, Bristol, Salisbury, or 
Coventry. It is very probable that none of them ever 
availed themselves of their privileges at all. Two cities, 
on the other hand, the origin of whose right to stamp plate 



* 8 and 9 Will. III., c, 8. 

h 2 



100 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. iv. 

is unknown — Exeter and Chester — used marks from early 
times, and these, together with the York and Norwich 
marks and perhaps that of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, can 
alone be allotted with certainty to their proper cities. 

YOEK. 

It has at length proved possible to identify the well- 
known old English mark of a fleur-de-lys and crowned 
rose, both dimidiated and conjoined in a plain circular 
shield as that which was anciently used at York. It 
has, before this, been somewhat doubtfully assigned to 
that office, but the number of specimens on which it has 
been found by the writer leaves the matter no longer 
open to question. 

Unfortunately, the mark itself is nearly always very 
indistinct, being only found on old and often much- worn 
plate, and in some cases the rose looks so much more 
like a dimidiated leopard's head that it is hazardous to 
say which it is intended for. On the whole it is more 
like the half of a seeded rose. The date of its introduction 
is unknown, but as it is always accompanied by an alpha- 
betical letter it can be traced to the commencement of 
the reign of Queen Elizabeth, whose accession seems to 
have inaugurated a new alphabet, if, indeed, a date letter 
was not then adopted for the first time. Twenty-five 
letters must have been used, the omitted letters being I 
or J. A table containing the known instances, and 
carried down from 1558 to the abolition of the country 
offices by the Act of 1697, is given at the end of this 
volume. The following are the articles which have 
served as authority for the construction of this table ; 
many of them, it will be observed, are actually dated, 
and the fashion of the others enables them to be placed, 
without any hesitation, in their proper cycles. 



CHAP. IV.] 



OLD YOKE MARKS. 



101 



Date. 


Maker, etc. 


Article. 


1567-8 


EB. 


• 


Communion cups at St. Mary Bishophill 
junior ; and at Holy Trinity Goodram- 
gate, York. 


1573-4 


EG. 


• • 


Button-headed spoon. — Eev. T. Stani- 
forth. 


1574-5 


G. 


. 


Mount of stoneware jug, dated 1576. — 
From the Addington Collection. 


1592-3 


FT. 


. 


Communion cup at Hemingbro', co. 




, 




York. 


1599-0 


WE. 


• 


Ditto, formerly at Cawood, co. York. — 
T. W. TJ. Eobinson, Esq. 


1615-6 


CH. 


. . 


Beaker-shaped cup. — From the Dasent 
Collection. 


1616-7 


CH. 


. 


Apostle spoon. — Eev. T. Staniforth. 


Ditto 


GM. 


. . 


Communion cup at St. Cuthbert's, York, 
dated 1615. 


1619-0 


SC. 


. . 


Communion cup at Bilbrough, co. York. 


1622-3 


PP. 


■ ■ 


Silver rim under Scrope Mazer at York, 
being a repair dated 1622. 


1623-4 






Communion cup at Holy Trinity, York. 


1626-7 


TH. 


. . 


Apostle spoon. — Eev. T. Staniforth. 


1633-4 


EW. 


under a sun 


Communion cup at Calverley, co. York. 




in splendour. 




1634-5 


EH, 


. . 


Communion cup and paten, dated 1633, 
at Chapel Allerton, co. York. 


Ditto 


SC. 


... 


Ditto, at St. Helen's, York. 


Ditto 


TH. 


. • • 


Ditto, at St. Olave's, York. 


1635-6 


EW. 


, under a sun 


Communion cup at Bilton, co. York. 




in splendour. 




1638-9 


FB. 




Plain cup on baluster stem (this cup bore 
an inscription engraved upon it relating 
to Norwich, and dated 1578).— For- 
merly in the Bohn Collection. 


1640-1 


EH. 


• . . 


Communion cup at Hunmanby, co. York. 


1657-8 


IP. 


. 


Communion cup at Headingly, near 
Leeds. 


Ditto 


CM. 


. 


Ditto, at Thirsk. 


Ditto 


WT., 


in monogram 


Cup given by Archbishop Harsnet in 
1630 to All Saints', North Street, 
York.* 



* This piece is rather a diffi- 
culty, but the date letter certainly 
seems the small z of the year 1657. 



The original cup may have been 
replaced by a new one in this 
year. 



102 



OLL ENGLISH PLATE. 



[CHAP. IV. 



Date. 


Maker, etc. 


Article. 


1662-3 


I P,, in quatrefoil 


Spoon, flat stem, end cut. — Key. T. Stani- 
forth. 


1663-4 


Ditto . 


Communion cup at Otley, co. York. 


1665-6 


RW. 


Ditto at Tadcaster, co. York. 


1669-0 


PM. . 


Silver lining of Scrope Mazer at York, a 
repair dated 1669. 


Ditto 


T M., with a bird 
beneath. 


Communion cup at Sandal, co. York. 


1672-3 


WM. . 


Candlesticks, York Minster, dated 

1673. 
Paten at St. Cuthbert's, York. 


1673-4 


IT. . 


1675-6 


I P., in quatrefoil 


Communion Plate, dated 1676, at Eipon 
Minster.* 


Ditto 


IT 


Paten at Long Marston, co. York. 


1678-9 


M B., in mono- 


Communion cup, dated 1678, at St. 




gram. 


Michael's Spurriergate, York. 


1679-0 


I P., in quatrefoil 


Peg tankard, inherited by its present 
owners from the family of Osbaldeston, 
of Hunmanby, co. York. — W. A. Tyssen- 
Amherst, Esq. 


1681-2 


WB. . . . 


Communion cup at St. Laurence, York. 


1682-3 


TM. 


Smaller cup, dated 1684, at St. Laurence, 
York. 


Ditto 


RK. . . 


Communion cup at All Saints' Pavement, 
York. 


1683-4 


C B., in heart . . 


Paten, dated 1687, at Whitkirk, co. 

York. 


Ditto 


GG. . 


Caudle cup. — Eev. Canon Eaine. 


1684-5 


WB. 


Large paten at St. Martin's, York. 


1685-6 


10. . 


Paten at Holy Trinity, York. 


1686-7 


10. 


Caudle cup. — Eev. T. Staniforth. 


1688-9 


10. . . 


Alms' dish, dated 1689, at St. Michael- 
le-Belfry, York. 


1690-1 


s s 


Flagon, at Bradford, co. York. 



* An old Chapter Account Book 
of the Collegiate Church of Eipon, 
commencing 1675, contains memo- 
randa relating to the plate, and 



amongst them receipted goldsmiths' 
accounts for the above articles, 
signed " John Plumer," dated 
March 29, 1676, and 21 June, 1676. 



chap, iv.] OLD NEWCASTLE MAEKS. 103 

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE. 

Notwithstanding the proved existence of a guild of 
goldsmiths in this city from 1536 and earlier, but little 
remains of their work ; specimens of church plate of the 
later part of the seventeenth century are occasionally to 
be met with, but so few that it cannot be certainly said 
that a date letter was used in Newcastle, as at York and 
Norwich. Their hall mark, at that time, consisted of 
three castles, arranged, as in later days, two above and 
one below, placed on a shield of irregular outline, in some 
instances smaller at the lower part where it had to sur- 
round only one tower than at the top. The writer has 
also seen another mark probably attributable to New- 
castle, for it is on church-plate at Gateshead, dated 
1672. This was a single heraldic castle or tower, on 
a small shield, and accompanied by what seems to be 
intended for a lion passant on a plain oval shield but 
turned to the right. This curious variation may be 
observed on modern Newcastle plate from 1721 to 1725. 

Other articles of the seventeenth century bear the 
three castles on a shaped shield, and a maker's mark 
repeated twice. In addition to these marks, a com- 
munion cup at St. Nicholas', Newcastle, bears what seems 
to be a Eoman letter on a shaped shield ; but this single 
instance is the only trace of a date letter that has at pre- 
sent been found on ancient Newcastle plate. 

NOEWICH. 

Plate was made, assayed, and marked in this city at 
an early period, but the trade has ]ong ceased to exist 
there. It has now no Goldsmiths' Company, nor does 
any vestige remain of the hall which is mentioned by 
Blomefield. Its distinguishing mark was an escutcheon 



104 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. iv. 

with, the city arms, viz : — a castle in chief above a lion 
passant in base, and it is found on plate belonging to the 
Corporation of Norwich of 1560-70, also on Norfolk 
church-plate of about the same date, in a shaped shield ; 
later, the same arms were borne on a plain, angular, 
heraldic shield with pointed base. Peter Peterson, a 
Norwich goldsmith of eminence in the reign of Elizabeth, 
is one of the few provincial craftsmen whose fame as well 
as name has been handed down to our times ; in 1574 
he is found presenting the Corporation with a standing 
cup gilt, on being excused serving the office of sheriff, 
and it is probable that the orb and cross within a lozenge 
often found on Norwich plate was his mark. Norfolk 
archaeologists have collected some few particulars of 
other less known members of the craft in their county. 
It is known, for example, that two wealthy goldsmiths of 
Norwich, John Bassingham and John Belton, occupied 
the same house successively in that city, and that the 
mark to be found upon it belonged to one of 
Io&B them, probably the latter, who was buried in the 
church of St. Andrew, Norwich, prior to 1521, 
for in that year his wife was buried beside him.'* 
A little later than this there must have been a number 
of goldsmiths in Norwich, the Corporation plate bearing 
the symbols of several different makers, whilst others 
occur on the early Elizabethan communion cups in the 
county. One William Cobbold, a leading goldsmith, is 
mentioned in the Corporation records for 1581, and a Mr. 
Skottow as providing beer cups and wine cups in 1634. 
A date letter was used, at all events from 1564, when 
the first known alphabet commences : but unfortunately, 
although a number of dated specimens bearing the c and 



* Norfolk and Norwich Archaeological Society's Transactions. 



chap, iv.] OLD NOEWICH MARKS. 105 

d of 1566 and 1567 exist, the writer has been able to 
find no dated specimens from that time until the year 
1632, in which the letter was I ; luckily, an L for 1634 
is to be found, N is to be seen on an article dated 1636, 
and r of the same alphabet, on a specimen dated 1640. 
This points strongly to the use of alphabetical cycles 
consisting of twenty letters each, as in London, and the 
Table at the end of this volume has been constructed on 
this principle, which is no doubt correct. 

Another circumstance pointing in the same direction is 
that an entry in the books of the Corporation of Norwich 
dated " 1624 ultimo Julii" states that by the authority 
of the Mayor, a mark, viz. the castle and lion, was 
then delivered to the wardens and searchers of the trade 
of goldsmiths. It will be noticed that this date happens 
to coincide with the commencement of a new alphabet in 
the table. About this time, too, probably on the deli- 
very of this new punch in 1624, the shape of the shield 
containing the lion and castle was changed, being made 
somewhat more regular than before, though still shaped 
out, and the castle was also altered from the rudely out- 
lined building represented on older stamps into a tower 
of the conventional heraldic pattern. 

Norwich seems also to have used various standard 
marks ; at one time it was a double seeded rose, sur- 
mounted with a crown. Mr. Octavius Morgan has a 
spoon stamped in the bowl with that mark just in the 
place where the leopard's head is found on ancient 
spoons of London make, from which it may be supposed 
that it was used as the standard mark. This spoon has 
the Norwich arms on escutcheon with other marks on 
the back of the stem. 

It is not found on the Elizabethan specimens, but 
occurs first on apostles' spoons and other plate of the 



106 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE; 



[CHAP. IV. 



reign of Charles I. ; it is also found on a cup of 1692. 
Other specimens of plate, which seem to belong to the 
interval between those periods, bear a rose-sprig, or 
else a seeded rose, and a crown on two separate stamps, 
instead of the usual rose crowned. This is as far as the 
matter can be carried at present, except to say that the 
seeded rose mark seems occasionally found on plate of 
Dutch manufacture, and that it is no doubt a Dutch as 
well as an English mark ; perhaps it may be put down 
as the former, when not found in conjunction with the 
Norwich arms. 

The following list of articles may serve as authority 
for the Table in Appendix B, and for what has been 
stated as to the Norwich marks : 



Date. 


Maker's Mark. 


Article. 


Owner. 


1565-6 


A sun in splen- 
dour. 


Cup on stem 


Lord Zouche. 


1566-7 


Ditto 


Paten, dated 1568 . . 


Aylsham, Norf. 


Ditto 


Ditto 


Civic plate, dated 1567 


Corp. of Norwich. 


Ditto 


Orb and cross 
within lozenge. 


Ditto, ditto 


Ditto. 


Ditto 


Ditto 


Communion cup, dated 
1567. 


Buxton, Norf. 


Ditto 


Ditto 


Ditto, ditto 


Bressingham, 

Norf. 


Ditto 


Ditto 


Ditto, ditto 


Pulham, Norf. 


Ditto 


Ditto 


Ditto, ditto 


Aylsham, Norf. 


Ditto 


Ditto 


Ditto, dated 1568 
(formerly at Kavening- 
ham, Norf.). 


A. H. Church, Esq. 


Ditto 


A man's head 
affrontee 
crowned (?) 


Ditto, no date . . . 


Newton, Norf. 


Ditto 


Ditto (P) 


Ditto, dated 1568 . 


Northwold, Norf. 


Ditto 


A trefoil slipped 


Ditto, dated 1567 . . 


-Erpingham, Norf. 


Ditto 




Ditto, ditto 


Cawston, Norf. 


Ditto 


... ... 


Ditto, no date . . . 


Booton, Norf. 


Ditto 


... 


Ditto, ditto 


Earnsham, Norf. 



CHAP. IV.] 



OLD NOEWIOH MAKES. 



107 



Date. 


Maker's Mark. 


Article. 


Owner. 


1566-7 


A trefoil slipped 


Civic plate, dated 1568 


Corp. of Norwich. 


1567-8 


Orb and cross 


Standing salt, sur- 


Ditto. 




within lozenge. 


mounted by statuette ; 
gift of Peter Eeade, 
who died in 1568 (see 
Woodcut in Chap. X. 
art. Salts. 




1568-9 


... 


Mount of Stoneware jug 


E. James, Esq. 


1632-3 


2 horses* . . 


Communion cup, dated 


Great Melton, 






1632. 


Norf. 


1634-5 


... ... 


Paten, dated 1635 


Booton, Norf. 


1636-7 


A bird . 


Button -headed spoon, 
dated 1636. 


Eev. T. Staniforth. 


1640-1 


... 


Communion cup, dated 
1640. 


Lamas, Norf. 


1692-3 


ID. 


Fluted porringer . . 


E. Fitch, Esq. 



CHESTEE. 

The goldsmiths of Chester, though not mentioned in 
1423, are known to have enjoyed chartered privileges 
from an early date — local tradition says from the time of 
Edward I. This seems to some extent borne out by 
references to ancient charters in the records still pre- 
served at Chester. There is a full list of the members 
of the guild, including its alderman and stewards, for 
the year 1585, and a notice of the admission of a brother 
even earlier, on October 4, 1573. There is certainly reason 
to believe that a charter granted by Queen Elizabeth was 
only a confirmation of ancient rights, for there is no 
mention of the receipt of a charter or of the fresh 
formation of a company in the records of that date. 

Minutes regulating the trade are found entered in the 
books before we come to the above entry of 1573, and 



* Passant counterpassant, the one surmounting the other. 



108 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. iv. 

they are presumably of earlier date. One of them ordains 
as follows : — 

" It m that noe brother shall delevere noe plate by him 
wrought unles his touche be marked and set upon the 
same beffore deleverie thereof upon paine of forfeture of 
everie deffalt to be levied out of his goods iij* iiij**." 

Another quaint notice is to the following effect : — 
"It is agreed by the consent of the Alderman and 
Steward of the Gouldsmyths that who soe ever shall 
make the bell that shalbe made against Shrouftide ffor 
the Sadlers shall have ffor his paines iij s iiij^ and yf 
any of the Compeney shall offend in the premisses shall 
pay unto the Alderman and Steward ane the reste of the 
Compeney being iij s 4 d . 

" And yt all the oulde bells shalbe broke and not any 
of the Compeney to by any to be new burnished or sould 
to the peneltie afforesaid iij* iiijV 

There are, however, few or no remains of the work of 
these ancient artificers. 

The large silver gilt mace belonging to the Mayor and 
Corporation, which was given by the Earl of Derby when 
he was Mayor in 1668, is stamped with a goldsmith's 
mark and the arms of the city of Chester as they were 
then borne, viz., three lions ramp., dim., impaled with 
three gerbes, dim. It bears neither leopards' head, lion 
passant, nor annual date letter, and the marks which 
are there have been nearly obliterated when the mace 
was re-gilt. It is almost too late in the day for the 
antiquary to suggest that when ancient plate is repaired 
or re-gilt, silversmiths would be careful not to deface the 
marks, for many are now past recall. Possibly now that 
the interest, and therefore value, which attaches to plate 
of which the precise age and date can be ascertained is 
better understood, the danger lies in the opposite direction. 



chap, iv.] OLD CHESTEE MAEKS. 109 

On this point the Quarterly Eeviewer has taken 
occasion to make a remark which will be borne out by 
the experience of every one who has studied the matter, 
namely, that the region over which the forger seems to 
have specially delighted to range is England, outside 
the metropolitan district. The fraudulent worker has 
availed himself freely of the field afforded by the doubt- 
ful provincial marks, and the buyer can not be too much 
on his guard against being imposed upon by pieces of 
apparently ancient plate, bearing what purport to be 
marks of this description. 

Eeturning to Chester, it may be said that its history 
as an assay town practically commences with its charter 
from King James II. in 1685. The first notice in the 
books of the Goldsmiths' Company there of the marks 
to be used, is of the following year, 1686, a date which 
barely anticipates the modern re-settlement of 1701. 

The following extracts are all that relate to the 
subject down to 1697, when the ancient offices were 
extinguished. 

1686. Feb. 1st. And it is further concluded that the Wardens' Marks 
shall be the Coat and crest of the Citty of Chester' 55 ' on two punsons 
with a letter for the year. 

1687. Paid for ye tuches engraving 12 

,, for ye three punsons 00 6 

1690. June 2nd. And the same day the letter was changed 

from A to JB, and so to continue for one year. 
1692. April. Paid for a puncheon and engraving ye letter " 16 
1692. Nov. Paid Mr. Bullen for coper plate and punson . 00 04 00 

1694. Paid Mr. Bullen for a new letter punson . . . 01 00 

1697. Paid for the punson and carriage . . . . 05 8 

This points to the adoption of a date letter in the year 
1689, and the regular change of letter each year follow- 
ing. The copper bought by Mr. Bullen, in 1692, might 



* For the coat of the city, see opposite page ; its crest was a sword erect. 



110 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. iv. 

be the very plate that is now preserved in the Chester 
Assay Office, but none of the punch marks with which 
it is covered seem referable to an earlier date than 
1701. 

The alphabet adopted in 1689 was, it is believed, of 
Eoman capitals. They are so given in the minutes, 
though this is not, of course, conclusive evidence. In 
any case, it must have come to a premature end with the 
letter i for 1697-8. This fragmentary alphabet is given 
after the old Norwich alphabets, in Appendix B. 



EXETER. 

Although there are no records of an assay office at 
Exeter until the commencement of its modern history, 
an ancient guild of goldsmiths flourished in that city. 
Much of the old church and domestic plate of the six- 
teenth and seventeenth centuries that is still to be found 
in the counties of Devon and Cornwall bears the old 
Exeter mark, which was a large Eoman capital letter X 
crowned. Examples of it are not uncommonly found 
even in other parts of England. Hardly any two marks 
are exactly alike, some of them being surrounded with a 
plain, others with a dotted, circle, whilst in later times 
than Elizabethan the escutcheon follows the shape of the 
contained letter. 

In the sixteenth century, the letter, enclosed in a plain 
or dotted circle, is usually accompanied by two pellets, 
mullets, or quatrefoils, one in each side angle of the X, 
but in the next century these are wanting. In the case 
of spoons it is always found in the bowls in the usual 
place. 

It is almost invariably accompanied by a maker s mark, 
which is the whole, or sometimes what seems to be a part, 



chap, iv.] OLD EXETER MARKS. Ill 

of the surname, and, in the latter instances, somewhat 
unintelligible; for instance, five out of six Elizabethan 
Communion cups still to be seen at Exeter parish 
churches, and nearly all of the years 1572, 1573, or 
1574, bear the word IONS with or without the crowned 
X, and this same mark is found on many village com- 
munion cups of the same date and fashion in Devon and 
Cornwall* 

Two stoneware jugs, in the possession of the Eev. T. 
Staniforth, bear ESTON and F.ASTON respectively as 
their makers' marks, whilst a third, formerly in the 
Bernal collection, bore the word HORWOOD ; all these 
are accompanied with the usual Exeter mark. To an- 
other mark, that of one RA.DCLIFF, as in the case of 
the Elizabethan cups, it is possible to assign a date, for 
it is found on a cup at St. Petrock's church in Exeter, 
engraved with 1640, a date which corresponds well with 
the year 1637 pounced on an apostle spoon with the 
same maker's mark, in Mr. Staniforth's collection. These 
last each bear the maker's initials, on a separate stamp, 
as well as his name in full. One of them may be 
given as a good example of the Exeter mark of the time ; 
it is thus, 



RADCLUT 



The other gives the same initials in monogram 
jftL, instead of with the little flowers between them. 

Specimens of the earlier forms of the Exeter mark 
will be found in the Table at the end of this chapter. 

Spoons occasionally bear the initials in the bowl, 
instead of the crowned X, and have the whole name on 
the back of the stem ; some seal-headed baluster-stemmed 



* It is, perhaps, the mark of one J. Ons(low). 



112 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. iv. 

spoons among the domestic plate still in use at Cotehele, 
the ancient Cornish seat of the Earls of Mount Edg- 
cumbe, bear TM in monogram within a dotted circle in 



their bowls, and [frKTHEV] on the stems : on others the 



word BEN"LY is to be found, with the Exeter mark in 
the bowl. YEDS occurs on a flat stemmed spoon, and 
^ on an apostle spoon of Mr. Staniforth's, both of 

which bear the Exeter mark. 

It is impossible to say for certain, even after the 
examination of so many specimens as are described here, 
whether a date letter was regularly used at Exeter. 
The stoneware jugs, and the communion cups some- 
times bear a letter that might be a date letter, but in 
many other cases it is not found, and never on spoons. 
It adds to the uncertainty that on nearly all the com- 
munion cups which bear the mark IONS, the Eoman 
letter I is also found. As they could hardly all have 
been made in exactly the same year, and as in some 
instances the maker's initial is certainly found as well as 
his name, it would be unsafe to say that this letter I is a 
date letter. Further research may clear up this question. 

Two general remarks must here be made upon the 
subject matter of this present chapter : one is, that it 
must not be supposed that there is not plenty of genuine 
plate, bearing old English provincial marks to be found 
in modern collections, and if the writer has based his 
remarks chiefly on ancient specimens of church plate, 
and in other cases upon specimens of which it can safely 
be said that they have never changed hands at all, it is 
only that the absolute authenticity of the data relied on 
may be ensured beyond all possible question. 



chap, iv.] DOUBTFUL MABKS, 113 

The other remark is a caution that in the case of speci- 
mens of provincial make of which the date-letter is doubt- 
ful, no help can be obtained from the alphabets of the 
Goldsmiths' Company in London. It has been suggested 
by Mr. Chaffers that these letters seem to agree with the 
dates of presentation on many of the pieces and the style 
of the workmanship ; and he adopts the plan of giving 
the dates according to the London tables in brackets 
in describing pieces of provincial plate. The York 
and Norwich tables now published for the first time, 
imperfect as they are, are enough to show that this 
agreement must be in most cases accidental, and that 
in respect of their date-letters the provincial goldsmiths 
invariably used different alphabets from those adopted 
by their metropolitan brethren. They occasionally, in 
the seventeenth century, sent up their wares to be 
touched in London, and in that case they seem to have 
registered the same mark at Goldsmiths' Hall as that by 
which they were known to the local assay-wardens. 
Two such instances, both of goldsmiths in the north 
country, have come under the writer's notice. 

DOUBTFUL PEOVINCIAL MAEKS. 

There are some few marks of which nothing certain is 
at present known. All that can be said is, that as they 
are found on plate, usually spoons, of apparently English 
make and of the middle of the seventeenth century, the 
articles bearing them probably escaped more regular 
marking owing to the social disturbances with which 
their makers were surrounded. 

The best known of such marks is a fleur-de-lis within 
a plain, or sometimes beaded, circle. It is often found 
in the bowls of spoons of that date ; examples are 

i 



114 OLD ENGLISH PLATE, [chap. iv. 

in the collections of Mr. Staniforth and Mr. Octavius 
Morgan. 

Another is a small and indistinct mark of a circle 
crossed and re-crossed with lines, some of them running, 
like the spokes of a wheel, to the centre. This is found 
in the bowl of a spoon in the collection of Mr. R. Temple 
Frere, and of one at Cotehele : both of these have a small 
sitting figure like Buddha, by way of knop, and both 
have as maker's mark the letters RC with a five-pointed 
star between them on the back of the stems; a seal- 
headed spoon also at Cotehele bears the same marks, 
and 1647 for date pricked upon it. 

A third mark of the same kind is formed of four small 
hearts arranged with the points inwards, so as to form a 
sort of quatrefoil, whilst other such devices and mono- 
grams in great variety occur, sometimes the same mono- 
gram in the bowl and on the handle of the spoon, two 
or even three times repeated in the latter position. 
Amongst them is occasionally to be recognised the 
registered mark of some London maker, but so seldom 
that in most cases they may safely be said to be of 
provincial origin, and of about the period we have 
mentioned. Exceptions may of course be found ; some 
few are certainly of the earlier part of the same century ; 
but as a general rule, this class of marks may be referred 
to the reign of Charles I., or else to the time of the 
Commonwealth. 

The most puzzling doubtful mark that has ever come 
under the author's notice is on a piece of church plate at 
Bradford.' It bears a catherine-wheel, an italic h for 
date-letter, and as maker's mark the letters SS crowned 
on a shield repeated twice. It is dated 1691, and is 
almost certainly of York make ; the York date-letter for 
1690-1, it may be added, is an h, and very likely an 



chap. iv. J DOUBTFUL MAEKS. 115 

italic one. The maker's mark though it is one of those 
registered at Goldsmiths' Hall, may well belong to a pro- 
vincial maker for all that. The best suggestion is that 
the York mark is accidentally omitted, and that the 
catherine-wheel, which is the well-known armorial bear- 
ing of Scot, may be a mark adopted by a silversmith of 
that name, his initials being SS. 

It remains to mention in conclusion a very interesting 
and perhaps unique mark, though it can hardly be called 
a doubtful one. It will be remembered that no pro- 
vincial offices seem to have had any right to mark plate 
after 1697, and the inconvenience to the trade and the 
public occasioned by this has already been noticed.* It 
appears, however, that plate made in the provinces between 
1697 and 1701 is not entirely unknown, as the follow- 
ing example will show. It is a saltcellar, about 17 
inches high, in the form of a lighthouse, and was 
formerly amongst the family plate at Tredegar. On the 
top is a lantern surmounted by a scroll-work and ter- 
minating in a vane, and beneath the lantern a dome or 
cupola above an open arcade with a gallery, within 
which is the depression for salt, the lantern is perforated 
for pounded sugar. Beneath this gallery are three 
stories — one empty, the next has a lid perforated for 
pepper, and the lowest story forms a larger box, also 
empty. There is a winding outside staircase, leading 
from the basement story of masonry to the upper story 
and gallery, and a little ladder hangs on to the foot of 
the staircase to reach down to the rock on which the 
lighthouse is based or the sea. It was for generations 
supposed to be a model of the lighthouse on an island 
called the Flat Holme in the Bristol Channel, and it 



See p. 99. 

I 2 



116 OLD ENGLISH PLATE, [chap. iv. 

bears for goldsmiths' marks the three words- — Britan, 
Rowe, and Plin , each on a plain oblong punch (like 
the word Ratcliff on page 111). On closer inquiry it 
proves to be a model of the first and original Eddystone 
lighthouse, erected by Winstanley, and first lighted in 
November 1698. This was much altered and strengthened 
in 1699, and only three or four years afterwards was 
swept away by a fearful storm, Winstanley himself and 
all hands perishing with it. In Smeaton's account of 
the Eddystone the drawing of the original lighthouse, 
which did not exist more than a year without alteration, 
corresponds in every detail with the silver model. The 
latter may therefore be safely attributed to the year 
1698, and the marks will indicate that it was made by 
one Eowe of Plymouth, of silver of the then new 
Britannia standard. The piece is thus not only of con- 
siderable historical interest, but of great rarity as a 
specimen of provincial silversmith's work. 

The following table gives a summary, in a form con- 
venient for reference, of all that 4 has been said about 
ancient provincial English hall marks, and some illustra- 
tions of those which are of most importance to the 
collector of old plate : — 



chap, iv.] TABLE OF PKOVINCIAL MAEKS. 



117 



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CHAPTEK V, 

THE PROVINCIAL ASSAY TOWNS AND THE1E MARKS 
SINCE 1701. 

The Acts of Parliament establishing them — York — Exeter — Chester — 
Norwich— Newcastle-upon-Tyne — Birmingham— Sheffield — Table of 
modern provincial marks. 

We come now to the re-establishment of provincial 
assay offices in 1701 and 1702 under the circumstances 
mentioned at an earlier page. The Acts of Parliament"* 
which appointed York, Exeter, Bristol, Chester, Norwich, 
and Newcastle-upon-Tyne for the assaying and marking 
of wrought plate may be taken together. They incor- 
porated the goldsmiths and plate-workers of each place 
under the name of the " Company of Goldsmiths," for 
carrying out their various provisions. No plate was to 
be made less in fineness than the standard of the king- 
dom, and the following marks were appointed: — The 
worker's mark to be expressed by the two first letters of 
his surname, the lion's head erased, the figure of Bri- 
tannia, and the arms of the city where such plate shall 
be assayed, and a distinct and variable letter in Eoman 
character, which shall be annually changed upon the 
election of new wardens to show the year when such 



* 12 & 13 Will. III., cap. 4, I Norwich. 1 Anne, cap. 9, New- 
York, Exeter, Bristol, Chester, and | castle-upon-Tyne. 



chap, v.] MODERN YOEK MAEKS. 119 

plate was made. Every goldsmith and silversmith in each 
city was required to enter his name, mark, and place of 
abode with the wardens, and not to stamp plate with 
any other mark than the mark so entered. 

Of these cities Bristol alone appears never to have 
exercised the power of assaying plate, though Norwich 
soon abandoned the privilege. The other cities all 
carried the provisions of the Act into effect by establish- 
ing assay offices, and all of them except York still 
continue in active operation. 

In 1773, after an inquiry by Parliament into the 
working of these offices, Birmingham and Sheffield were 
appointed for the same purpose ; goods made in these 
towns having, as it appeared, until that time been sent 
at great inconvenience and expense to Chester or Lon- 
don to be marked. The provisions of the Act appoint- 
ing them are, speaking generally, much like those by 
which the older assay offices were regulated, except that 
the later provisions are more precise and complete, an 
advantage to be attributed, it is pertinently suggested by 
Mr. Eyland in his "Assay of Gold and Silver Wares," to 
the opposition of the Goldsmiths' Company in London, 
which was a little jealous of rival offices. Out of this 
wholesome rivalry arose the parliamentary inquiry and 
report, without which the statute establishing the offices 
at Sheffield and Birmingham would have been far less 
complete and satisfactory. 

A few words must be said of each of the provincial 
offices in turn, except Bristol which may be considered 
to be disposed of, premising that the later general Acts 
of the last and present century, regulating the gold- 
smith's trade, and noticed in the last chapter, apply to all 
offices alike. 



120 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. 



[chap. v. 



YOEK. 

This office has had a somewhat fitful existence. Re- 
established in 1701, it is mentioned with the rest in 
the Acts of 1739 and of 1784, although it was certainly 
not working at the time of the parliamentary inquiry of 
1773. At the commencement of the present century its 
operations were more regular, and there is a record in 
existence of the work done from 1805 — 1821.* From this 
it appears that duty to the amount of about £300 a-year 
was paid through the York office for work sent to be assayed 
by some four or five silversmiths, the articles made by 
them consisting of household plate, now and then some 
articles of communion plate for a York church, and some 
wedding rings ; " a coffin plate " is mentioned more than 
once. Later on, in 1848, it is again to be heard of, but 
working as before on a very small scale. A return then 
obtained shows it to have assayed on an average no more 
than 2,000 ounces of silver, besides an insignificant 
quantity of gold in the five preceding years ; and in 1856 
the office had practically ceased to exist. The annual 
date-letter seems to have been changed regularly this 
century up to the discontinuance of the office, but owing 
to the loss of its books and the small quantity of work 
done, it is hopeless to attempt any list of the letters 
used from 1701 to nearly the end of the century. 

The distinguishing mark of the York office was a shield 
of the arms of the city, which are &ve lions passant on a 
cross. 

The usual Britannia standard marks and Eoman capitals 
for date-letters were used from 1701 to 1720 ; and after- 



* One of the Register Books of 
the Assay Office is now in the pos;- 
session of Canon Raine. who has 



kindly furnished 
notes from it. 



the following 



chap, v.] MODERN YOEK MAEKS. 12] 

wards from the time of the restoration of the old sterling 
standard for silver in the latter year until about 1847, 
York, like some of the other provincial assay towns, used 
the leopard's head, but without any very good reason 
after 1739, though the practice is defensible until then 
according to the wording of the Act which restored the 
old standard. 

A well-known legal authority characterises the addition 
of the leopard's head mark in these cases as an unneces- 
sary incumbrance ; * and from 1739 this is clearly the 
case. The Act of 1720 restoring the old sterling 
standard with its proper marks says nothing about the 
provincial offices, which accordingly adopted the ordinary 
London marks ; but in 1739 these matters were further 
regulated, and standard gold and old sterling silver were 
to be marked "as followeth (that is to say) with the 
mark of the maker or worker thereof, which shall be the 
first letter of his Christian and surname, and with the 
marks of the Company of Goldsmiths in London, viz., 
the leopard's head, the lion passant, and a distinct 
variable mark or letter to denote the year in which the 
plate was made ; or with the mark of the worker or 
maker, and with the marks appointed to be used by the 
assayers at York, Exeter, Bristol, Chester, Norwich, or 
New castle-on -Tyne." A reference to the Acts of Will. III. 
and Anne shows the marks so appointed to be the arms 
of the cities, and a variable mark or letter, which from 
1720 should have been used in conjunction with the 
mark of the maker. 



* Tilsley's " Stamp Laws. 



122 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. v. 

EXETEE. 

This city availed itself forthwith of the powers con- 
ferred upon it in 1701, and its office has been actively at 
work ever since. Eleven goldsmiths met on August 7th 
1701, and proceeded to elect William Ekins and Daniel 
Slade as their first wardens : steps were taken to procure 
a convenient house for an assay office, resolutions for its 
management passed, and punches for marking plate 
ordered in November, one Edward Kichards having been 
appointed assay-master in the preceding month, an office 
which he seems to have held till January 1707-8. 

Early in the following year such goldsmiths of Devon, 
Cornwall, Somerset, and Dorset, as had not yet entered 
their marks, were notified that they were ready to assay 
plate according to the Act of Parliament. 

The distinguishing mark of the office is a castle of 
three towers. At first the mark used was a somewhat 
bold one, the two outer towers, which are lower in the 
shield than the central one, are bent inwards towards it, 
and the shield is shaped, but after 1709, or thereabouts, 
the shield was reduced in size, and was made of the 
ordinary plain angular heraldic pattern ; and the towers 
are smaller and upright ; in the case of both the shields 
there is what might be taken for a small flaw running 
from the central tower to the bottom of the shield ; this 
in reality denotes the partition per pale of the field on 
which the triple castle of the city of Exeter is borne. 

The minutes of the year 1710 give the first actual 
mention of the alphabetical date-letter which was for 
that year K ; we may say, therefore, that the first alpha- 
bet used was one of Roman capitals, and commenced on 
Michaelmas Day, 1701, in which year the observance of 
the Act became obligatory. The letters A and B are 



chap, v.] MODERN EXETEE MARKS. 123 

found in ornamental or shaped shields. The letter is now 
changed on August 7th, It will be seen from the table 
of letters at the end of this volume that Eoman letters, 
capital or small, were used until the commencement of 
an alphabet of old English capitals in 1837; we shall 
also notice that since 1797 the same letters have been 
used as at the Goldsmiths' Hall in London. We have 
given the letters just as they are written in the minute 
book, thinking it the safest course to adopt, even though 
they may not be exact facsimiles in all cases of the 
punches used. The letters for the present century, and 
perhaps a longer period, have been in square shields with 
the corners slightly cut off, or sometimes with the upper 
corners of the shield cut off and the lower end rounded 
as best suited the letter enclosed. 

The early makers' marks were, in compliance with the 
Act, the first two letters of the surname, but, most un- 
fortunately, a leaf is now missing from the Company's 
record book which contained the first twenty-three 
entries ; the earliest of those left is the twenty-fourth, 
entered on Nov. 13th, 1703, and is that of " Mr. Peeter 
Eliot of Dartmouth/' whose mark was to be EL. 

Other marks follow at the rate of one or two in each 
year, entered by goldsmiths residing at Launceston, 
Plymouth, Dunster, Truro, and other places as well as 
Exeter itself, some examples of which may be given, viz : — 

May 8, 1704. Richard Wilcocks of Plymouth, Wj 

Ditto. Mr. Richard Holin of Truro, HO and a crown. 

1704. Edward Sweet of Dunster, SW 

Richard Vavasor of Tottoness, VA 

In 1723 may be noted an instance of the change to 
the initials of the Christian and surname in the case of 
John Elston junior, of Exeter, whose mark, entered in 



124 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. v. 

that year/ was JE under a small heraldic label on a 
shield. An example of his work remains in the shape of 
a plain two-handled crip of 1725, at the Baptist Chapel 
in South Street, Exeter, of the congregation of which he 
was a member. 

Some rites and ceremonies took place on the initiation 
of new members of the Company, for, say the minutes 
of Aug. 7th, 1767, " at this Court appeared Mr. Thomas 
Kaynes and Mr. Eichard Freeman, Paid their coltage, and 
were duly shod." 

From the parliamentary return of 1773 we find that 
the Company then consisted of five members, (but seven- 
teen plate workers' marks were registered, being those of 
tradesmen residing at Plymouth and Dartmouth, as well 
as Exeter itself), and that the average weight of plate 
assayed in each of the seven preceding years was about 
4479 oz. According to the later return of 1848, the 
office was carrying on an extensive business, more, in fact, 
than any other provincial office except Sheffield. It had 
stamped, in that year, no less than 44,451 oz. of silver, 
besides 266 oz. of gold. In 1856 its business had some- 
what increased, but almost all its work came from a 
single firm at Bristol. 

Except for the city arms, the marks of Exeter are the 
same as those given in the table for York ; and as at 
York the Exeter office adopting the leopard's head in 
1720, continued its use long after the passing of the 
Act of 1739. It may be again remarked here that the 
retention of that mark after 1739 by those offices was 
probably owing to a misinterpretation of the Act of that 
year, which no doubt intended to confine the use of the 
leopard's head for the future to London. It was used at 
Exeter on an unusually large oblong stamp, and forms 
a fine bold mark ; indeed, this may be said of all the 



chap, v.] MODERN CHESTER MARKS. 125 

punches employed in this city, the lion's head erased 
being of large size, and the Britannia on a rectangular 
punch as bold in its way as that adopted for the 
leopard's head crowned in 1 720. This last was still in 
use in 1773, but it has been discontinued now for many 
years. The date of its discontinuance is not recorded in 
the books of the company, and is unknown. 

Examples of Modern Exeter Plate. 

1701. Flat-stemmed spoon. Rev. Canon Raine. 

1702. Large paten or ciborium with cover. St. Martin's, Exeter. 
1704. Straining spoon. St. Petrock, Exeter. 

1706. Plain alms dish or paten. St. Mary Arches, Exeter. 

1709. A pair of communion cups and covers. St. Stephen's, Exeter. 

1712. Flagons. St. Sidwell's, Exeter. 

1714. Large paten on foot. St. David's, Exeter. 

1718. Two-handled cup and cover. St. David's, Exeter. 

1729. Small communion cup for the sick. St. Martin's, Exeter. 

1730. Straining spoon. Exeter Cathedral. 
1748. Small paten on foot. St. Martin's, Exeter. 

CHESTER. 

Here, too, the office established in 1701 has been at 
work ever since, though sometimes on a small scale ; the 
growth of Liverpool and Manchester has not added as 
much as might have been supposed to its work in recent 
times. Its date-letters, as in the case of the other pro- 
vincial offices, commence with the Eoman capital A in 
1701, and they have been changed regularly every year 
on July 5th, until 1839, since which time the change has 
been made the same day in August. Its business was at 
one time very small, dwindling from 824 oz. in 1766, to 
no more than 161 oz., or the weight of a single salver 
of moderately large size, in 1769 ; but a great increase 
seems then to have suddenly taken place, for, in 1770, 
1771, and 1772 it stamped about 2,200 oz. a year, The 



126 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. v. 

Company consisted of nine goldsmiths and watchmakers 
in 1773, and seventeen plateworkers' names had been 
entered there from Manchester, Liverpool, Shrewsbury, 
Birmingham, Chester, and Warrington. 

The fidelity and skill with which the operations of the 
office were conducted, secured the special commendation 
of the parliamentary committee in that year. 

At the date of the next inquiry, in 1848, it appears to 
have again been doing but little business ; 656 oz. had 
been the greatest total weight of silver stamped as liable 
to duty in any of the five preceding years, to which 
must be added an average of about 200 oz. of gold wares. 
It however received from Liverpool and from a maker 
at Coventry a large number of watch cases for assay, 
which did not increase the duty payable through the 
office, though it added greatly to the business done in it. 
In 1855 it was stamping some 25,000 oz. annually 
of silver, and 10,000 oz. of gold of this description of 
wares. 

Its distinguishing mark was at first a shield bearing 
the city arms of three lions passant guardant dimidiated, 
per pale with three garbs also dimidiated. These 
were changed in the latter part of the last century for 
a dagger erect between three garbs ; but it is known 
that the Goldsmiths' Company continued the use of the 
old arms many years after the city had adopted the new 
coat. It seems somewhat uncertain in what year the 
new coat first found favour at the Hall; the present 
assay master is of opinion that the change was made in 
the year 1784 or thereabouts, and this is corroborated 
by the occurrence of the letter il i" which appears to be the 
letter for that year, accompanied sometimes by the old 
and at other times by the new arms. The other marks 
have corresponded with those of the other provincial 



chap, v.] MODEBN CHESTER MARKS. 127 

towns, the leopard's head having been used from 1 720-—- 
1839, when it was discontinued. 

Partly owing to the smallness of the business done at 
Chester, and partly owing to the loss of one of the books 
which contain the records from 1803 to 1818, it is a 
matter of some doubt and difficulty to give a list of the 
date-letters used. Those from 1701 to 1726, and from 
1818 to the present day, are recorded, but in the interval 
between 1726 and 1818 the only information the books 
afford is that from 1726 to 1803 they were regularly 
changed. Happily, however, the letters for certain years 
are known in other ways, such as the italic M for 1738-9, 
the Eoman capital U in the next alphabet for 1772-3, 
and the small Eoman i is found without the king's head, 
and also with the king's head in intaglio. This last must 
therefore almost certainly be the letter for 1784 ; and it 
would seem to indicate that at Chester the preceding 
alphabet was shortened by two letters, and a new cycle 
commenced in 1776 with the same letter as that used in 
London ; this uniformity of practice has not, however, 
been maintained. The evidence of the marks found on a 
number of undated specimens of plate corresponds with 
that afforded by the fixed points mentioned ; and our 
table will be practically a safe guide to the Chester date- 
letters. It will of course be seen that the lengths of the 
alphabets have necessarily had to be cut to fit, but the 
position of any given letter will not be affected by more 
than a year, and the uncertainty occasioned is therefore 
of comparatively little consequence. 

Examples of Modern Chester Plate. 

1704. Large oval snuff-box, dated 1704. Corporation of Chester. 

Do. Communion cup. Worthenbury, Wrexham. 

1709. Silver oar. Corporation of Chester. 

1713. Commuiiion cup and flagon, dated 1716. St. Peter's, Chester. 



128 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. y. 

1713. Spoon, dated 1715. Corporation of Chester. 

1714. Paten. St. John's Blue Coat School, Chester. 

1715. Communion plate. St. Mary's, Chester. 

1717. Alms dish, dated 1719. St. John's, Chester. 

1718. Communion cup, dated 1720. St. Bride's, Chester. 

1722. Punch ladle, dated 1722. Corporation of Chester. 

1723. Punch ladle, dated 1724. The Duke of Westminster, Eaton 

House. 
Do. Paten. St. Michael's, Chester. 
1728. Cup. T. Hughes, Esq. 
1730. Silver seal. Corporation of Chester. 
1738. Paten, dated 1737. Chester Cathedral. 
1769. Sugar ladle. W. W. E. Wynne, Esq., Peniarth. 
1772. Date letter U. Eeport of Parliamentary Committee. 



NOEWICH. 

As to modern Norwich, nothing seems to be known 
except that on July 1st, 1702, one Eobert Harstonge was 
sworn in assayer of gold and silver plate to the company 
of goldsmiths in that city. This is the only evidence at 
all that any step was taken to put in force the powers 
of the Act of Will. III. ; it is clear that as far as Norwich 
is concerned, the privileges conferred by it soon fell into 
disuse, and for a very long time past no plate has been 
assayed there. 

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE. 

Although this city was one of those anciently appointed 
to have a touch of its own, it was not included amongst 
the offices re-established in 1701. Its claims were how- 
ever made good in 1702, upon a representation appa- 
rently of its ancient rights and of the ruin impending 
over its goldsmiths and their families in consequence of 
its omission from the list. A company was then esta- 
blished in the same manner as in the case of the other 
towns: its first assay master was elected June 24th, 1702; 
and its annual date-letter runs regularly from 1702 



chap, v.] MODERN NEWCASTLE MAEKS. 129 

onwards to the present time, being changed on May 3rd. 
Koman capitals were first used, and then capital letters 
of various descriptions, until 1815, when a small letter 
(Roman) was introduced. In 1773 it shared with 
Chester the praise bestowed on the well-conducted op- 
erations of the goldsmiths' companies in these two cities, 
but the company consisted of three persons only. There 
were, however, nine marks registered, their owners resid- 
ing at Newcastle itself, Durham and Sunderland, and 
it then stamped about 12,000 oz. of silver per annum, 
but no gold. It was doing much the same amount 
of business in 1848, and also in 1856, when such 
matters were again made the subject of Parliamentary 
enquiry. 

The Newcastle mark is a shield with three towers or 
castles upon it, being the arms of the city, and is found 
at first upon an ornamental shield, afterwards upon one 
of a heart-shape, and still later upon a shield with a 
pointed base almost the shape of an egg. The other 
marks used are the same as those of the other provincial 
towns, the leopard's head crowned having been used 
from 1720. It is now the only provincial town using 
that mark. 

The Roman capital letter S for 1784 is found with 
and also without the Sovereign's head, which last is in 
intaglio when it occurs on plate of 1784-5 or 1785-6, 
as it is on London plate of the same years. 

Examples of Modern Newcastle Plate. 

1721. Communion flagon. Otley, co. York. 
Ditto. Communion cup. Gateshead. 

Ditto. Communion plate, dated 1722. St. John's, Newcastle. 
1724. Communion cup (Britannia standard marks). Croft, co. York. 
1738. Hand candlestick. Eavensworth Castle. 

1746. Communion flagon, dated 1746. Holy Trinity, Goodramgate, 
York. 



130 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. v. 

1759. Communion flagon. Calverley, co. York. 
1774, Ditto, dated 1776. St. Andrew's, Newcastle. 
Ditto. Communion paten. Bothal, co. Northumberland. 

1783. Communion cup, dated 1784. Ovingham, co. Northumberland. 

1784. Communion flagon, dated 1785. Gateshead. 

1787. Communion paten, dated 1788. St. Andrew's, Newcastle. 



SHEFFIELD AND BIRMINGHAM. 

Lastly we have Sheffield and Birmingham, established 
by an act of 1773 as the result of the parliamentary 
enquiry to which we have so frequently referred. This 
Act * enabled them to assay silver goods only, but Bir- 
mingham was further empowered to stamp gold in 1824,t 
by the Act under which that office is now regulated, and 
by which so far as Birmingham is concerned, the earlier 
Act of 1773 was repealed. At Sheffield silver only is 
assayed to the present day. A district of thirty miles 
radius round the town was assigned to Birmingham, and 
one of twenty miles to Sheffield for the better support 
of the offices. 

Owing to their recent establishment their work has of 
course not yet had time to acquire any archaeological 
interest, but their marks are — the maker's which is to be 
the first letters of his christian and surname, the lion 
passant, a distinct variable letter to be changed annually 
upon the election of new wardens for each company, and 
the mark of the company. This mark is a crown in the 
case of Sheffield, whilst an anchor distinguishes articles 
assayed at Birmingham. For silver of the higher 
standard, the Britannia stamp alone, unaccompanied by 
that of the lion's head erased, has been used by these 
offices. The Birmingham date letters have been regular 
alphabets, but at Sheffield for the first half century the 



* 13 Geo. III. cap. 52 (local). | f 5 Geo. IV. cap. 52 (local). 



chap, v.] SHEFFIELD AND BIRMINGHAM MAEKS. 131 

letters were selected at random; since 1824 however 
both have used regular alphabets, though Sheffield has 
here and there omitted some letters. In both cases the 
letter is changed in July, at Sheffield on the first Monday 
in that month, on which day the annual meeting of the 
company is held. These offices have both carried on an 
extensive and well conducted business, earning the com- 
mendation of those whose duty it was to report upon the 
working of the provincial assay offices, before a select 
committee of the House of Commons which sat in 1856. 
The Diet is sent up from both Sheffield and Birmingham 
to the Mint for trial annually as their Act directs. This 
is one of the improvements and safeguards owed to the 
more modern legislation under which they were esta- 
blished. The other provincial offices are only liable to 
the obligation of sending their diet up to the Mint if 
required to do so, and it appeared in 1856 that it had 
never been sent for within living memory from any of 
them. 

The following tabular summary of the marks dealt 
with in this chapter, is constructed on the same plan as 
the tables already given on pages 59 and 117 : — 



K 2 



132 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. 



[chap. y. 





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CHAP. V.] 



TABLE OF PEOYINCIAL MAKKS. 



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CHAPTER VI. 

SCOTLAND. 

Scotch legislation — The Edinburgh goldsmiths — Their marks, deacons, 
and assay masters — Old provincial marks — Modern Glasgow — Table 
of Edinburgh and Glasgow marks. 

In Scotland attention was paid at an early period to 
the fineness of wrought gold and silver and steps were 
taken by the legislature to prevent frauds in the working 
of those metals. 

For in the reign of King James II., a.d. 1457* a 
statute was passed by the parliament of Scotland, enact- 
ing that " anent the reformation of gold and silver 
wrocht be Goldsmithes, and to eschew the deceiving 
done to the kingis lieges, there sail be ordained in ilk 
burgh, quhair Goldsmithes workis ane understandard, 
and a cunning man of gude conscience quhilk sail be 
Deakone of the craft. And quhen the warke is brocht 
to the goldsmithe and it be gold, what gold that beis 
brocht till him he sail give it foorth again in warke na 
war nor xx graios, and silver xi grains fine, j" And the 
said Goldsmith sail take his warke or he give it foorth and 
passe to the deakone of the craft and gar him examine 



* Fourteenth Parliament, VI. of 
March, 1457. 65. Of the Deakon 
of Goldsmithes ; and of the mark- 
ing of their warke. 



f That is : 20 grains or parts of 
fine gold in 24; 11 of pure silver 
in 12. 



chap, vi.] SCOTCH LEGISLATION. 135 

that it be sa fine as before written. And the said 
deakone sail set his marke and taken thereto togidder 
with the said Goldsmithes. And gif faulte be founden 
therein afterwards, the deakone aforesaid and Gold- 
smithes gudes sail be in escheit to the King, and their 
lives at the kingis will and the said deakone sail have 
to his fee of ilk ounce wrocht an penny. And quhair 
there is no Goldsmithes bot ane in a towne, he sail shew 
that warke takened with his awin marke to the head 
officiates of the towne quhilkis sail have a marke in like 
maner ordained therefore and sail be set to the said 
warke. And quhat Goldsmith that givis foorth his 
warke utherwaies then is before written his gudes sail 
be confiscat to the King and his life at the Kingis will." 
We have thus early, therefore, a maker's mark established 
and in addition to it, a deacon's mark in towns where 
goldsmiths are established, or a town mark in places 
where but a single goldsmith resides. 

In 1483 the thirteenth parliament* of the next reign, 
that of James III., further ordains as follows : " that for 
the eschewing of the great damnage and skaithes that 
our Sovereign Lordis lieges sustein be the goldsmithes 
in the minishing the fines of the silver warke that fra 
thine furth there be in ilk burgh of the realm quhair 
goldsmithes ar, ane deakon and ane searchour of the 
craft. And that ilk goldsmithes warke be marked with 
his awin marke, the deakone's marke and the marke of 
the Towne of the finesse of twelve-penny fine. And 
quhair there is ony sik warke within the said finesse, 
the warke to be broken the workman to upmake the 
avail of the finesse aforesaid, and the said workman to 
be punished therefore' at the King's will." 



XXIY. Feb., 1483. 96. Of Goldsmiths. 



136 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. 



[CHAP. VI. 



It further provides that no goldsmith be a master, nor 
hold open booth unless he be admitted by the officers of 
the craft and the whole body of it. This same year we 
come to the grant by the Town Council of Edinburgh, 
of certain privileges to the goldsmiths and members of 
some other trades, all being included under the name of 
" Hammermen," in answer to a petition in which they 
complained of infractions upon the " auld gude rule " of 
their craft. 

Next follows, in 1489, another statute,* to the same 
effect as the earlier ones, providing "that each gold- 
smith was to have ane special marke, signe and taiken 
to be put in his said warke quhilk he makis. And they 
samin warkes to be of the fines of the new warkes of 
silver of Bruges. And that there be ane deakon of 
the craft of goldsmith es quhilk sail examine the said 
wark and fines thereof and see that it be als gude as 
the said wark of Bruges. And thereafter the samin 
deakon to put his marke and signe on the said warke, 
and to answer thereupon his life and gudes. And as 
touching the warke of gold, that it be maid als fine as 
it is first molten in the presence of the awner, like as 
the touch and assaie given to him quhen it is first 
molten." 

In 1555, an Act f to regulate "the finesse of gold- 
smith's warke and the marke thereof " proceeds : — " For- 
asmuch as there is great fraud and hurt done unto the 
lieges of the realm by goldsmiths that make silver and 
gold of no certain finesse but at their pleasure, by which 
there is some silver warke set furth of such baseness of 
alloy, viz,, of six and seven penny fine against the public 



* James IV. Second Parliament, 
XV.Feb.,1489. 13. Of Goldsmithes. 



f Mary, Sixth Parliament, XX. 
June, 1555. 



chap, vi.] SCOTCH LEGISLATION. 137 

weal of the realm, it is ordained that na goldsmith make 
in warke nor set foorth either of his awin or uther mennis 
silver under the just finance of elleven penmie fine under 
the paine of death and confiscation of all their gudes 
moveable. And that everie goldsmith marke the silver 
warke with his awin marke and with the townis marke. 
. . . And als that na goldsmith make in warke or set 
furth of his awin or uther mennis gold under the just 
finesse of twentie twa carat fine under the pains afore- 
said." 

Then come letters patent of King James VI. granted 
in 1586, and ratified by parliament in the following 
year, to the deacon and masters of the Goldsmiths' craft 
in Edinburgh, which gave further effect to these statutes 
by empowering that body to search for gold and silver 
work, and to try whether it were of the fineness required 
by law and to seize all that should appear deficient : this 
gave them a monopoly of their trade and the entire 
regulation of it, separating them finally from all associa- 
tion with the " hammermen " or common smiths. The 
working rules of the craft received in 1591 the ratifica- 
tion of the Town Council, but they contain no further 
mention of marks to be used. We may remark that 
George Heriot, a name so well known in the mystery, 
was " deykin " of the goldsmiths in Edinburgh that same 
year. This most distinguished of all the Scotch gold- 
smiths was born in 1563, and was eldest son of another 
George Heriot, who belonged to the company of gold- 
smiths in Edinburgh. The younger Heriot has already 
been mentioned, but it may be interesting to note in 
this chapter that his father, who died in 1610, was 
also a man of eminence, having been a commissioner in 
the convention of estates and parliament of Scotland, 
and a convener of the trades of Edinburgh at five different 



138 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. yi. 

elections of the council.* Lastly the Charter of Incor- 
poration of the Goldsmiths of Edinburgh, granted by 
James VII., in 1687, confirms their previous privileges, 
and extends their powers over the whole kingdom of 
Scotland. 

It seems clear that at this time but little plate, and 
henceforward none at all, was assayed, except in Edin- 
burgh, until the establishment of the office at Glasgow 
in the present century. In earlier times several towns 
used marks in compliance with the early acts of parlia- 
ment, but few instances of plate bearing them are now to 
be found : such as there are will be noted presently. 

The earliest marks therefore were the maker's and 
deacon s punches only, to which the mark of the town 
is added in 1483 ; though we must not forget as a piece 
of antiquarian information, the mention of a town mark 
as early as the Act of 1457. 

The introduction of a variable date letter seems 
nearly coincident with the granting of the charter of 
James VII., the first mention of it being in Sept. 1681, 
when a small black letter & was adopted as the letter 
for the ensuing year. It has been changed regularly ever 
since on the first hall day in October. 

In the Goldsmiths' books, there is a wonderfully con- 
secutive record of the date letters used from that time 
forward, but no note of the shape of the shields sur- 
rounding them, except for impressions from the actual 
punches used in the earliest cycle, which are struck upon 
the pages containing the minutes. 

A new and carefully corrected Table has been pre- 
pared expressly for this volume, by Mr. James H. 
Sanderson, well known as one of the best authorities on 



* Hone's "Every Day Book," ii., 747. 



chap, vi.] EAELY SCOTCH MAEKS. 139 

the subject of Scotch plate, who has also furnished the 
author with a quantity of information as to provincial 
marks in Scotland, and biographical notes of the deacons 
with their marks. 

We have now enumerated four of the marks to be 
found on plate assayed in Edinburgh, the maker's, the 
deacon's, the castle, and the date letter. Two others 
have to be mentioned, one an alteration, and the other 
an addition. In 1759, the deacon's mark was abolished, 
the standard mark of a thistle being substituted for it, 
and in 1784, as in England, the sovereign's head was 
ordained as a duty mark. 

Eeturning to the course of legislation there is nothing 
to notice, and the old laws seem to have remained in 
force, until the date of the general enactment* which 
now, to quote from its title, fixes the standard qualities 
of gold and silver plate in Scotland, and provides for 
the marking and assaying thereof. Its provisions much 
resemble those of the Acts establishing the more modern 
of the English provincial assay offices, except as regards 
the standard and the city mark. It prohibits the sale 
not only of plate manufactured in Scotland, but of any 
plate without the marks of one of the Scotch assay 
offices, so that no plate made in London or elsewhere out 
of Scotland can be sold in Scotland, unless it be re- 
assayed and stamped at the Edinburgh or Glasgow offices. 
Of the Glasgow office, established in 1819, presently. 

The Act recapitulates the marks to be used, and they 
are as follows : — 

For gold of 22 carats, the five stamps of which mention 
has been made — the maker s initials, the town, the 
standard, the duty, and date marks. 



* 6 & 7 Will. IV. c 69. 



140 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. vi. 

For gold of 18 carats, the same, with the additional 
stamp of the figures 18. 

For silver of the old standard, the same stamps as for 
gold of 22 carats. 

For silver of the new standard, the same stamps, with 
the additional mark of Britannia. 

It may be remarked that the higher standard silver, 
has been but little used in Scotland. 

To sum up in chronological form, the Edinburgh 
marks are : — 

1. Maker's mark, from 1457. 

2. Standard mark, being deacon's initials from 1457 
to 1759, when the thistle was substituted for it. 

3. The town mark of a castle, from 1483. 

4. The date letter, from 1681-2. 

5. The duty mark of the sovereigns head, from 1784, 
as in England. 

We now propose to give a few of the more interesting 
examples of Edinburgh hall-marks, from 1618 to 1778, 
with short notices of the makers, deacons, and assay 
masters of that period. The marks are numbered so as 
to correspond with the biographical notes which belong 
to, and follow them ; and it must here be noted that 
after the year 1633, there is a blank in the records 
for nearly forty years, which renders it a matter of 
difficulty to identify the names of the makers with their 
respective marks. It also appears that unless the deacon 
was popular with the craftsmen, he did not get elected to 
serve a second year. 



chap, vi.] EDINBURGH HALL MARKS. 



141 



1.— 1618. Gilbert Kirkland. 

2.— 1628. George Robertson. 

3.— 1633. Trinity College 
Church plate. 

4.— 1633. George Crawford. 

5.— 1642. Tolbooth Church 
plate, Edinburgh. 

6.— 1650. Currie Church pi., 
near Edinburgh. 

7.— 1657. Dunbar Church pi. 

8. — 1677. Alexander Reed. 

9.— 1692. Robt. Ingles. 

10.— 1700. Dunblane Church 
plate. 

11.— 1717. Patrick Turnbull. 
12.— 1728. Wm. Ayton. 

13.— 1735. James Kerr. 

14.— 1746. Edward Lothian 
and Hugh Gordon. 

15.— 1760. Robt. Gordon. 

16. — 1778. Patrick Robertson. 





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142 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. vi. 

1. Gilbert Kirhland was deacon of the Goldsmiths' 
Craft in the year 1623-4 and again in 1636. He made 
the Fyvie parish communion plate (Aberdeenshire) in 
the year 1618, and that of the parish of Marnock in 
1636; we have his punch four times between those 
dates. 

The deacon's mark PL occurs three times, between 1618 
and 1640 ; his name unknown. 

2. George Robertson was master of the Cuinziehous 
(coining-house), and made the Mace belonging to the 
city of Edinburgh in the year 1617. Between that 
date and 1650 we have his punch six times, as the 
maker of church plate. 

The deacon G, name unknown. We find his punch on 
church plate nine times between 1617 and 1650. It 
appears on the Edinburgh Mace, just mentioned, of 
1617, see also the following example. 

3. Maker's name unknown, but is found on several 
examples in 1633, including the plate in the Tron 
Church and the Torgue Church. 

The deacon's mark is the same as in the preceding 
instance. 

4. George Crawford was deacon of the craft in the 
year 1622, and again in 1633 ; we have his punch 
three times on church plate, from 1646 to 1650. He 
made the Newbattle Church plate in 1646, and some 
old Grey Friars church plate in 1649. 

The deacon's monogram we have five times between 
1629 and 1646, name unknown; it occurs on the 
Dunfermline plate in 1629, on the Haddington Church 
plate in 1646, and in connection with the mark of George 
Eobertson on an alms-dish now at St. Patrick's Church, 
Brighton, but formerly the property of the church of 
Duff us, co. Elgin. 



chap, vi.] EDINBURGH DEACONS. 143 

5. From the Tolbooih parish communion plate (Edin- 
burgh). The maker PB crowned. We have this punch 
four times between the years 1640, when it occurs on 
the Dalkeith church plate, and 1662. 

The deacon's punch we have seven times between 
1640 and 1650. It occurs with the same maker's mark 
on the Dalkeith plate and with a different maker's mark 
on that of the High Church, Edinburgh, of 1643. Both 
maker's and deacon's name unknown. 

6. From the Currie parish communion plate, believed 
to be of 1650, both makers and deacon's name unknown. 

7. Dunbar parish church communion plate, maker's 
punch known from 1644 to 1657. 

Deacon's punch known only for two years from 1657 ; 
both names unknown. 

8. Alexander Reed (with a crown over his initials) 
was deacon of the craft in 1677-8, and made, at that 
time, some of the Pittenweem parish church plate (in 
Fifeshire). 

The deacon's initials, also crowned ; we have his 
punch five times between the years 1667 and 1681 ; his 
name unknown. 

9. Robert Ingles was deacon of the craft in 1691, 
and again in 1701 ; we have his punch seven times, as 
a maker, between the years 1692 to 1719. 

The deacon's, or rather in this case, the assay master's 
mark is B in a shaped border ; we have his punch twenty 
times between the years 1681 and 1700. From this 
time a date letter appears. 

10. From Dunblane parish church communion plate. 
Maker's name unknown. He appears as a maker five 
times between the years 1685 and 1702, and as assay 
master sixteen times from 1698 to 1708 : for the assay 
master see No. 9 as above. 



144 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. vi. 

11. Patrick Turnbull who was maker and deacon of 
the craft in that year, as found on the Legerwood parish 
church communion plate. 

12. William Ay ton who was deacon of the craft in 
the year 1730-1. We have his punch four times 
between the years 1729 and 1733. The assay master 
EP seems to have held that office from 1708 to 1729. 
During that period we have his punch six times as a 
maker, and twenty-four times as assay master; his 
name unknown. 

13. James Kerr was deacon of the craft three times, 
and for two years at each time, in the years 1734-5, 
1746-7, and in 1750-1. He was also a Member of 
Parliament ; we have his punch six times between the 
years 1723 and 1735. 

The deacon AU seems to have held the office of 
assay master from 1729 to 1737. During that period 
we have his punch twelve times as such. 

14. Edward Lothian was deacon of the craft in the 
years 1742-3, and from the Hammermen's Arms (a 
hammer with Imperial Crown) which the device over 
his initials is intended to represent, he had been a member 
of that corporation ; we have his punch both as maker 
and deacon, in all five times, from 1744 to 1760, and 
then with the standard mark (The Thistle) introduced in 
1759, instead of the deacons or assay masters mark, as 
in the next example. 

The assay master, Hugh Gordon, was deacon of the 
craft in 1 732-3, and seems to have been in office from 
1737 to 1756. During that period we have his punch 
sixteen times. 

15. Robert Gordon, with his initials crowned, was 
deacon of the craft in 1748-9 ; we have his punch three 
times between the years 1744 and 1760. The Castle 



chap, vi.] EDINBUBGH DEACONS. 145 

and Thistle in a square punch differs a little at this 
date from the punches used a few years later. 

16. Patrick Robertson was deacon of the craft in the 
year 1754-5, and again in 1764-5; being two years in 
office each time ; we find his punch fourteen times as 
maker between the years 1766 and 1790. 

Chronological List of Specimens of Scotch Plate which haye 
served as authority for the date letters. 

1682-3. Jug — the late Lord Murray. 

Ditto. Duddingston Church plate, dated 1682. 

Ditto. Tron Church, Edinburgh, baptismal basin. 

1685-6. Auchtermuchtie communion cups, dated 1686. 

1689-0. Benholm Church plate, dated 1690. 

1690-1. Temple Church, Edinburgh, dated 1689. 

1692-3. Benholm Church plate, dated 1693. 

1693-4. Trinity College Church plate, dated 1693. 

1698-9. Ditto ditto dated 1698. 

1701-2. New North Kirk communion cups, dated 1702. 

Ditto. Dalmeny Church plate, presented by Lord Eosebery, 1702. 

1703-4. New North Kirk communion cups, dated 1704. 

1704-5. Carmichael Church plate. 



1706-7. Old " Grey Friers " baptismal laver, dated 1649, " Wil. Neilson, 

Deon of Gild," renewed 1707. 
1707-8. Lady Tester's communion cups, dated 1708. 

— New North Kirk baptismal laver, dated 1708. 
1708-9. Eddleston communion cups, dated 1709. 
1716-7. Abbotshall (near Kirkaldy) Church plate, dated 1717. 
1717-8. Legerwood Church plate, dated 1717. 
Ditto. Errol Church plate, dated 1718. 
1718-9. Galashiels Church plate, dated 1719. 

1719-0. Punch bowl of the Eoyal Company of Archers, dated 1720. 
1720-1. Pencaitland Church plate, dated 1721. 
1721-2. Kelso Church plate, presented by Christiana Kerr, "widdowof 

the Master of Chatto and Frogden, 1722." 
1722-3. Spoons. Alexander Drysdale, Esq. 
1726-7. Forteviot (Perth) Church plate, given 1727. 
1729-0. St. Ninian's Church plate. 



1732-3. Kincardine Church plate, given 1733. 

1743-4. Silver club, the Edinburgh Golfers, dated 1744. 



146 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. vi. 

1749-0. Old Church, St. Giles', communion cups, dated 1750. 
1753-4. Pepper-box. Sir George Home, Bart. 

1754-5. Lochgoilhead Church plate, given by Sir James Livingstone, 
of Glenterran, Bart., 1754. 



1762-3. St. Cuthbert's Parish Chapel of Ease communion plate, dated 

1763. 
1763-4. Ditto, baptismal laver, dated 1763. 
1765-6. Auchinleck Church plate, from Lady Auchinleck, " given in 

by Lord Auchinleck, 1766." 
1766-7. Cake basket. Messrs. Mackay and Chisholm. 
1767-8. Snuffer tray. Late Lord Murray. 
1769-0. Sugar basket. Messrs. Mackay and Chisholm. 
1770-1. Spoon. Captain Gordon, of Cluny. 
1771-2. Salt-cellar. Messrs. C. E. and Son. 
1778-9. Spoon. Messrs. M. and McD. 



1783-4. Cramond Church plate. 

1784-5. St. Andrew's (Edinburgh) Church plate. 

1785-6. Leecroft (Bridge of Allan) Church plate. 

1788-9. Mauchline baptismal basin. 

1789-0. Pencaitland Church plate, given 1789. 

1790-1. Kippen Church plate, given 1790. 

Ditto. Carmylie Church plate, dated 1791. 

1791-2. Medal, Eoyal Company of Archers, dated 1792. 

1804-5. The West Church Stirling plate, dated 1805. 

Before coming to the establishment of the modern assay 
office of Glasgow, we must pause to notice six provincial 
towns in Scotland, where plate was marked in olden times. 

These, and possibly other towns, availed themselves of 
the privileges conferred by the Act of 1457, the pro- 
visions of which in this behalf will be remembered. It 
is certain that these provisions were not very strictly 
attended to, for in many cases the mark of the assay 
master's tool is the only proof that the metal had been 
examined and tested by any authorised person, the 
makers and the town mark being found unaccompanied 
by a deacon's. The following marks have been selected 
as illustrations of the mode of marking plate in the 
Scotch provincial towns, and an explanatory note of each 
is added to conclude this section of the subject. 



chap, vi.] OLD SCOTCH PEOVINCIAL MAEKS. 



147 




W4 



BBQQ3 



^Hii 





Glasgow, 1703. Eenfrew Church 
plate. 



Glasgow, 1708. Greenock, West 
I jj \Jtm) Church plate. 



Glasgow, 1734. St. Quivox Church 
plate, Ayr. 



Dundee, 1665. Dundee parish 
church, alms dish. 



Dundee, 1652. Forgan Church 
plate, Fife. 



Aberdeen, 1650. Walter Melville, 
King's College Mace. 



Aberdeen, 1666. Ellon Church 
plate, Aberdeenshire. 



Aberdeen, 1682. William Lumsden, 
Fordown Church plate, Kincar- 
dineshire. 



EEIM 






\UID 





SKXKS 



Inverness, 1810. Charles Jamison. 



Perth, 1771. The West Church, 
Perth. 



St. Andrew's, 1671. The parish 
church plate, St. Andrew's. 

L 2 



148 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. vr. 

In Glasgow the old town mark was the arms, with the 
bell on one side of the tree, and a letter G on the other, 
the fish's head is sometimes to the dexter, and sometimes 
to the sinister side, and has a ring in its mouth : of this 
mark we have above twenty examples between the years 
1694 and 1766. 

On early plate the town mark is on a small round 
punch, so small that it is often difficult to recognise the 
bearings at all. In most examples we have a date letter, 
but it is impossible to place them in regular order. 

In. Dundee also the town mark was the arms, a pot 
of three growing lilies, of which we have only a few 
examples. One of those given is of the year 1652, and 

has the date letter \y (in octagonal border): the other 

is on a large circular alms dish of 1665, with the coat of 
arms of the donor, Johannes Fethens. 

In Aberdeen, the town mark was a contraction BD or 
ABD. The first Aberdeen mark on the preceding page 
gives it as it appears on the Mace of the King's College, 
which is marked with the maker's name, Waltervs Mel- 
ville Facet, 1650; the XX may be the quality of the 
silver. In most cases the town mark is as in the next 
example of 1666 ; that of 1682 gives the mark of one 
William Lumsden, with his initials, hammer and crown ; 
the probability is that he belonged to the Hammermen's 
Society. The rose not unfrequently appears on each 
side of his initials : this mark we have often seen on 
plate of about the year 1680, when this Lumsden is well 
known to have worked as a jeweller in Aberdeen. 

The Inverness town mark was, like that of Aberdeen, 
a contraction INS, but has no mark over these initials. 
The only maker's mark we have met with is that of 
Charles Jamison, who was in business there about the 



ctiap. vi.] OLD SCOTCH PROVINCIAL MAEKS. 149 

year 1810. Besides his initials there is an animal (very 
small) something like a dromedary, which happens to be 
the dexter-supporter of the Inverness arms. 

The Perth town mark was a spread eagle, part of the 
town arms, and was used along with the Edinburgh 
marks, as shown on the West Church communion plate. 

The St. Andrews town mark was a St. Andrew's cross, 
as shown on the parish church communion plate : the 
same marks occur on a silver dish, thought to be a salt 
cellar, belonging to St. Mary's College there. 

GLASGOW. 

Lastly, we come to the establishment of a new assay 
office in Glasgow, by an Act of 1819 (59 Geo. III. c. 28), 
which formed a company in that city whose powers should 
extend for forty miles round, and appoints the marks to 
be used by it. These marks have been used ever since, 
notwithstanding any references to Glasgow in the more 
general Act of 6 k, 7 Will. IV. The distinguishing mark 
was to be the arms of the city of Glasgow, a tree, fish 
and bell: and its date letterSj complete alphabets of twenty- 
six letters each, have been regularly changed. It is pro- 
posed for the future to use twenty-five letters only, in 
order that the cycles shall each comprise a quarter of a 
century. The standard mark is the lion rampant : these 
three, together with the maker's mark and sovereign's 
head, make up the set of marks used there. 

For silver of the higher standard, the " Britannia " 
mark is however added, and gold of eighteen carats 
is marked with the figures 18. The special remark must 
be made, that as the marks for gold of twenty-two carats 
have been, until quite lately, the same as those used 
for sterling silver, an article made of sterling silver 
stamped as such and afterwards gilt often cannot, by 



150 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. 



[CHAP. VI. 



the marks alone, be distinguished from gold. The 
figures 22 seem to be now used on gold of this quality. 
The Parliamentary enquiry of 1773, did not extend to 
Scotland, but in 1848, both Edinburgh and Glasgow 
were in fair work, the former doing somewhat more than 
the latter. Edinburgh in 1847, had stamped nearly 
29,000 ounces, and paid to the government a sum of 
£2152. 

Table of Marks used in Edinburgh and Glasgow. 



Office. Quality. 



Edin- 
burgh. 



Silver, O.S. 



Glasgow 

from 

1819. 



Ditto, N.S 



Silver, O.S 



Ditto, N.S, 



Standard. 



Deacon's 
markl457 
to 1759, 
then the 
thistle. 



Ditto. 



Lion 
rampant. 



Ditto. 



Britannia 



Britannia 



Date. 



Variable 
annual 
letter 

from 1681 



Do. from 
1819. 



Duty. 



Sove- 
reign's 
head 
from 
1784. 



Do. 
from 
1819. 



Town 
Maker. Mark _ 



Initials, 
some- 
times in 
mono- 
gram, 
from 
1457. 



Do. 
from 
1819. 



Castle 
from 
1483. 



Tree, fish, 
and bell. 




For gold of 18 carats since 6 & 7 Will. IV., and quite recently of 22 carats, 
add those figures respectively to the marks for silver, O.S. 

For gold of the three lower standards, the quality is marked for 15, 12, or 9 
carats, with those figures, in addition to the marks for silver, O.S., but 
the duty mark is omitted. 



CHAPTER VII. 



IEELAND. 



The Goldsmiths' Company of Dublin — New Geneva — Table of Dublin 

Marks. 

The Goldsmiths' Company of Dublin incorporated by 
a charter from Charles L, dated 1638, has the entire 
regulation of the goldsmiths' trade in Ireland. A copy 
of their charter is given by Mr. Eyland in the little book 
before alluded to,* from which some of the following 
details relating to it have been taken. 

The company thus incorporated was to have the 
correction of all abuses within the kingdom of Ireland, 
and to exercise the same powers as the Goldsmiths' Com- 
pany of London had in England. 

William Cooke, John Woodcock, William Hampton, 
and John Bannister, were appointed the first wardens, 
whilst Gilbert Tongues and Peter Vanemhowm gold- 
smiths, whose names often occur in the books of the 
company, were amongst the original members. No gold 
or silver of less fineness than the standard in England 
was to be wrought, and " the King's Majesty's stamp 
called the Harp crowned now appointed by his said 
Majesty" was not to be put on any silver below his 
Majesty's standard. These privileges have been exercised 
to the present time, subject to the various subsequent 



Assay of Gold and Silver Wares," London, 18/>2. 



152 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. vii. 

Acts of Parliament which are presently to be noticed, 
and the books of the company kept with regularity even 
through troublous times. The early entries occasionally 
give the annual date letters as in 1644 and some succeed- 
ing years, but this is not often the, case. 

Notices of civic importance are not wanting, such as 
the riding of the franchises of the city of Dublin, in 
which the Company of Goldsmiths took a prominent 
part in 1649, and other years. In that year, we have a 
detailed account of the attendance of the company with 
horse and armour, and after the names of those who 
bore their part in the cavalcade, including Gilbert Tongues 
as Captain, and also a Captain Waterhouse, comes a note 
which serves to indicate that the goldsmiths were of no 
mean importance socially speaking, for it adds, " certain 
above named were not of our corporation, but of their 
own goodness forsook more ancient corporations and rode 
as loving brothers in our company, viz., Captain AYater- 
house ; some were invited by Mr. Sheriff Vandyndhowm 
to his tent, the rest with us at Mr. Sumynour, having 
no tent in the field." The minute of this event ends 
with the words " Sic transit gloria hodiei." 

Another such festivity is recorded in 1656, but later 
on the times seem changed, for we come upon a motion 
in 1776 resolving that the company was incapable of 
riding the franchises that year. It was not unmindful 
of its duty of prosecuting the fraudulent, for in 1777 it 
is entered that one Michael Keating, whose mark was 
MK, was convicted of counterfeiting marks, and sen- 
tenced to a fine of 50l. and six months' imprisonment 
" at the last commission of Oyer and Terminer." 

Nothing in the way of legislation need be noted till 
1729, 3 George II., when the Irish Parliament enacted 
that all articles of gold and silver, should be assayed at 



chap, vii.] THE DUBLIN GOLDSMITHS. 153 

Dublin by the assay master appointed by the Company 
of Goldsmiths, fixed the standard of gold at 22 carats, 
and silver at 11 oz. 2 dwts., and ordered that the 
articles should be marked with the marks then used, 
which, we may add, would be the harp crowned, a date 
letter and the maker's initials. The English enactments 
as to silver of the higher standard, were not imitated in 
Ireland, and no plate of that standard has ever been 
made there. To these marks, however, another was 
added in the following year 1730, by order of the 
Commissioners of Excise, who introduced the figure of 
Hibernia, to denote the payment of the duty first charged 
upon plate in that year. The subsequent Act of 1807, 
requiring the king's head to be stamped on plate for the 
same purpose, took no notice of the Hibernia mark, and 
the two marks have since that year been used together. 

In 1783 a second statute (23 & 24 Geo. III. c. 23), 
repealed that of 1729, as far as gold was concerned, and 
fixed three standards for gold, viz : of 22, 20 and 18 
carats. All articles of gold were to be marked with the 
maker's mark consisting of the first letters of his christian 
and surname, and the various qualities were to be dis- 
tinguished as follows : — 22-carat gold was to be marked 
at the assay office in Dublin with the harp crowned, and 
at the assay office at New Geneva then established with 
the harp crowned having a bar across its strings : 20 carat 
gold at Dublin with a plume of three feathers, and at 
New Geneva with a plume of two feathers : and 1 8 carat 
gold at Dublin with a unicorn's head, and at New Geneva 
with a unicorn's head with a collar round its neck. It 
further ordered that the punches were to be so con- 
structed that the impression should be indented, instead 
of being in relief, so as to prevent its being defaced. It 
will be remembered that in England the duty mark of 



154 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. vii. 

the king's head introduced at about this same time, is 
at first found " indented " in the fashion here described. 
Certain specified gold wares, and all that should weigh 
less than 6 dwt., were exempted from the operation of 
the Act. 

New Geneva is a village near Waterford where in 
1783 a colony of foreign protestants was established 
after some persecution on the Continent. Many Swiss 
were among them, especially Genevese, whence the name. 
They exercised various trades, especially working in silver 
and jewellery, and hence the establishment of an assay 
office, and particular marks. After a few years and the 
expenditure of £30,000, the settlement was abandoned ; 
the Genevese became discontented at not having obtained 
as much as they wanted, and quitted the country ; and 
the place has dwindled to a small obscure village with- 
out any trade ; it is therefore probable that very few if 
any articles were assayed or marked there. 

It remains to be said that date letters have been used 
in Ireland from the time of the Charter of 1638, and as 
elsewhere have formed more or less regular alphabets, 
the course of which are, however, not always quite 
certain ; plate of about the middle of the last century 
is sometimes found bearing the other proper marks, but 
no date letter at all. 

The lists at the end of the volume, have been most 
carefully compiled from the books of the company, and 
a number of specimens of plate, several of them kindly 
noted by Mr. W. D. Waterhouse of Dublin, who has paid 
much attention to the subject. It may be that they 
will prove to require some small corrections for the 
interval between the years 1680 — 1721, when some 
years, it is not quite certain which, must be left without 
date letters. 



chap, vii.] DUBLIN DATE LETTERS. 155 

The old English C for 1680-1 for example, and the 
Jt for 1693-4, leave us with an interval of thirteen 
years, but only six letters to distribute over it. These 
six letters probably succeed each other in regular order, 
from 1680 to 1686, for historical events might be left 
to account for the next few years. The Charters of all 
Irish Corporations were annulled for a time in 1687, 
and little trade in silver or gold work could have been 
carried on in Ireland, between the landing of King 
James at Kinsale in 1689, and the Treaty of Limerick 
which was concluded in October, 1691. 

It must be confessed that it is less easy to account for 
a second* gap between the years 1695 and 1709, and if 
the Dublin records are to be trusted, work seems to have 
been regularly carried on through the most troublous 
times. It is understood that the matter has already 
attracted the attention of the Eoyal Irish Academy, 
and there is therefore every reason to hope that an 
authoritative explanation of it is at hand. Except for 
this uncertainty, it is thought that the tables given may 
be depended on as nearly, if not quite, accurate. 

Mr. Eylands states that the small Eoman letter 
alphabet commencing in 1821-2 was changed at the 
letter e (for 1825), to one of Eoman capitals by order of 
the Commissioners of Stamps, to denote the transfer of 
the duties then made to them from the Commissioners of 
Excise by 6 Ceo. IV. c. 118, and to mark the reduction 
of the allowance of 2-|- dwts. per lb., which had up to 
this time been made from the standard, to the allowance 
of 1^ dwt. in accordance with the better practice of 
the London assay office. Mr. Chaffers also mentions 
this change, but as from d to D in the year preceding. 
A careful investigation into the matter by Mr. Water- 
house, gives the letters for that cycle as they are found 



1 56 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. vii. 

in the appended lists. They are all of them Roman 
capital letters, but a small Roman letter e in a shaped 
escutcheon is found in addition to the usual large letter 
in 1825. 

From the alphabetical tables a good deal of additional 
information may be obtained, if one or two leading facts 
be borne in mind. The harp crowned will be found of 
larger size, and on a punch adapted to the outline of the 
mark, until 1785 ; after which, and until 1792, it was 
smaller, and placed in a plain oval escutcheon, like the 
Hibernia which is to be looked for from the year 1730. 
The letters of the alphabet which commences in 1746, 
are to be distinguished from those of the next by their 
being somewhat bolder, and their shields larger and 
more angular at the bottom than those of the later 
alphabet, which last have the harp in an oval from the 
letter P of 1785-6 as remarked above, a second distinction. 
Both these hints are due to the observation of Mr. Water- 
house. From about 1792 to 1808, both the harp crowned 
and Hibernia were in square stamps with the corners 
slightly cut off, and from 1808 to the end of that alpha- 
bet they are in shaped shields like the date letter. 

The letter L of 1807-8 is found both with and with- 
out the sovereign's head. During the present century, 
the shapes of the other stamps seem to have pretty much 
corresponded with the shape of the shield used for the 
date letter of the year ; when that is plain or merely has 
the corners cut off, the same sort of shields are used 
for the harp, Hibernia, and king's head ; but when shaped 
the escutcheons of these others correspond with it. 

In 1848, Dublin was stamping from 20,000 to 40,000 
ounces of silver per annum, besides a small quantity of 
gold, the annual totals varying very much, but being 
about as much as the Edinburgh office, though a great 



CHAP. VII.] 



SPECIMENS OF IRISH PLATE. 



157 



deal less than Birmingham, Exeter, or Sheffield. At the 
time of a Parliamentary enquiry held in 1856, it was 
doing a somewhat smaller business, nearly all the 
country work having fallen off, especially that coming 
from Cork. The business originating in Dublin itself, 
appeared to be somewhat on the increase. 

Chronological List of Specimens of Irish Plate. 



Date. 


Maker, etc. 


Article. 


1638-9 


VB 


In monogram 


Communion flagon. Trinity Col- 
lege, Dublin. 


' 1680-1 


/oTfoV 


3 annulets be- 


Great tankards (see engraving in 




(ag) 


low, a mullet 


Chap. X. art. Tankards). Mer- 






between 2 an- 


chant Taylors' Company, London. 






nulets above, 








all in plain cir- 








cular punch. 




Ditto. 


Ditto. 


Ditto . 


Small communion cup, originally 
the property of a Dean of Cork. 
Eev. H. H. Westmore. 


1693-4 


£t8 


In monogram; 


Cup, given 1696. Mansion House, 




vS) 


the mark of 


Dublin. 






Thos. Bolton, 








Aid. of Dub- 








lin; and Assay 








Master this 








year. 




Ditto. 


Ditto. 


Ditto . . . 


Cup, ex dono Duncombe. Trinity 
College, Dublin, 


1695-6 


Ditto. 


Ditto . 


Cup, given 1696. Mansion House, 
Dublin. 


Ditto. 


... 





Flagon, dated 1700. Trinity Col- 
lege, Dublin. 


1710-1 


/# 


Script. 


Cup, ex dono Pattens, 1709. Trinity 






College, Dublin. 


1711-2 


DK 


... 


Communion plate, given 1712', 
Killeshandra, co. Cavan. 


1712-3 


Ditto. 




Communion plate, given 1713. 
Killeshandra, co. Cavan, 


1716-7 


Ditto. 


... 


Communion plate, given 1716. 
Killeshandra, co. Cavan, 



158 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. 



[CHAP. VII. 



Date. 


Maker, etc. 


Article. 


1718-9 


TB 


In monogram, 

as above (see 

1693-4.) 


Mace. Corporation of Dublin. 


1720-1 


0L3& 


Script. 


Fluted salver. Late Col. Meadows 
Taylor, C.S.I. 


Ditto. 


... 





Waiter on feet bearing the Gore 
arms. Lord Harlech. 


1724-5 


... 


... 


Coffee-pot. Bev. E. Sutton. 


1725-6 


#f 


Script. 


Two-handled cup and cover. J. B. 






Daniel-Tyssen, Esq. 


1728-9 


WW 





Mace, dated 1728. Goldsmiths' 
Company, London. 


1734-5 


IW 





Jug, won by "Smiling Bob" at 
WaterfordBaces. Lord Harlech. 


1736-7 


IH 


Crowned . . 


Large shaped salver and pair of 
small two-handled cups and 
covers. Sold at Christie and 
Manson's in 1875. 


Ditto. 


WW 


... 


Gold snuff -box, presented with the 
freedom of Naas, 1737. The Earl 
of Shannon. 


1743-4 


IH 


Crowned 


Table-spoons. W. A. Tyssen-Am- 
herst, Esq. 


1769-0 


WM 


Script. 


Large circular salver. Late Col. 
Meadows Taylor, C.S.I. 


1776-7* 


IK 


... ... 


Snuff-box, presented with an 
address, 1778. The Earl of 
Shannon. 


1785-6 


MW 


... 


Sugar-basin on 3 feet. Bev. T. 
Staniforth. 


1805-6 


IS 




Cake-basket, repousse and chased. 
Bev. C. Daniel. 


1811-2 


LIB 


Maker Le Bas 


Tea-pot (also stamped with a 
dealer's name West). Bev. C. 
Daniel. 


1815-6 


ILB 


Le Bas . . 


Shaped salver on feet. Bev. C. 
Daniel. 



* The date letter E has a small dot or pellet beneath it within the 
shield. 



chap, vii.] TABLE OF DUBLIN MAEKS. 

Table of Dublin Marks since 1638. 



159 



Quality. 



Silver, O.S. 



Gold,22 c, 
till 1784 * 



Standard. 



Date. 



Harp crowned. 




17th 18th Modern, 
cent. cent. (See 

page 

155.; 



Ditto. 



Variable 
annual 
letter. 



Ditto. 



Duty. 



Hibernia from 

1730 (see page 

155), and 

King's Head 

in addition 

from 1784. 

Ditto. 



Maker. 



Initials. 



Ditto. 



N.B. — The provisions as to gold of 15, 12, and 9 carats, of 17 & 18 Vict., 
c. 96, extend to Ireland, and these standards are denoted by the same 
decimal numbers as in England ; the standard mark of the harp 
crowned and the duty mark of the king's head being omitted ; but 
the Hibernia, originally a duty mark also, retained as a sort of 
town mark for Dublin. 



* Since 1784, for standard marks 
on gold of 22, 20, and 18 carats, and 
for the New Geneva marks, see the 



notice of the Act of that year (23 
24 Geo. III. c. 23) on page 152. 



CHAPTEE VIII. 



FRAUDS AND OFFENCES. 



Old offences— The report to Parliament of 1773— The Acts of 1739 and 
1844 — Cases proceeded against under their provisions. — An amateur's 
experiences. 

The practical lessons that may be derived by the 
plate buyer from a record of some of the offences that 
have from time to time been attempted in contravention 
of the legislation, of which we have now considered the 
course, are so important, that a short chapter may be 
fairly devoted entirely to them. 

The earliest provisions concern themselves with the 
use of metal worse than standard, the setting of false 
stones in gold, and of real stones in base metal, the 
price at which goldsmith's work shall be sold, and 
the prevention of working in secret ; later on penalties 
were instituted, not only for selling silver of inferior 
quality, but for selling even fine silver before it was 
marked with the proper touches and the maker's own 
mark, whilst in 1597 we come as a third stage to 
proceedings instituted against those who counterfeited 
marks, which resulted, as we have seen, in the offenders 
being put in the pillory and losing an ear. Some of 
these offences owe their very existence to a state of 
things, socially speaking, which has long passed away. 
The very notion of legislating against working in a back 



chap, viii.] FKAUDS AND OFFENCES. 161 

street, or at night, or fixing the price at which articles 
should be sold, is enough to raise a smile at the sim- 
plicity of mediaeval economy. Neither need we notice 
here the statutes directed against exporting silver and 
melting down the coin of the realm to make plate. 

Coming to modern days, a short review of the reported 
cases will answer the useful purpose of suggesting to the 
reader the sort of frauds against which he should be on 
his guard, even though changes in the law, and the 
abolition of the intricacies of special pleading have 
deprived them to a certain extent of their legal interest. 

Several such cases were appended to the report pre- 
sented to the House of Commons in 1773, this appendix 
being in point of fact an account of the prosecutions 
carried on by the Goldsmiths' Company against persons 
for frauds and abuses in matters relating to gold and 
silver plate during the seven years then last past. 

They were four in number, and omitting technicalities 
they were as follows : — 

(1.) In 1767, for soldering bits of standard silver to 
tea-tongs and shoe-buckles, which were worse than 
standard, and sending them to the Company's assay 
office in order fraudulently to obtain their marks to the 
same. 

(2.) In 1768, for making salt-cellars worse than the 
standard, and selling them for standard. 

(3.) In 1770, for making and also for selling gold 
watch-chains worse than standard. 

(4.) In the same year for selling two silver watch cases 
without being marked. 

To this report of 1773 was appended a remark that 
the heavy penalty (no less than death as a felon) im- 
posed by 31 Geo. II., c. 32, for counterfeiting hall marks, 
had greatly put a stop to frauds in wrought plate. 



162 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. vtit. 

It is more than doubtful whether as much could be 
said at the present day, though the goldsmiths' trade 
is now regulated by an act which does all that can be 
effected by careful provisions in the direction of render- 
ing abuses difficult or impossible ; but such is the temp- 
tation to the forger of these days, in consequence of the 
demand for " antique " plate, that a single walk through 
the streets of London will be enough to show that present 
legislation is powerless against his cunning arts, and the 
Quarterly Eeviewer has not overstated the case in say- 
ing that a buyer may return home after traversing our 
great thoroughfares for a day with " a cab-load of real 
old English plate," if he be not too fastidious, and has 
money in his purse.* By the time the reader has got to 
the end of this volume, if he ever does, and if he did not 
know it before, he will see how little genuine antique 
plate is to be had at a moment's notice, or indeed at all, 
however much he may be willing to pay for it. 

First, let us recount the main provisions of the acts 
which now regulate the craft ; then note a case or two 
that have been dealt with under them ; and conclude 
the chapter with some personal experiences of the modes 
in which they are evaded. 

We may ignore, as this is not a legal treatise, the 
various minor provisions of the last and present cen- 
turies, altering penalties from time to time, and also 
certain details found only in the Sheffield and Birming- 
ham Acts. Everything of general interest is practically 
summed up in the last act,f which, with the act of the 
reign of George II. \ are those to which we now turn ; 
the latter, still providing for the maintenance of the 



* Quarterly Keview, " Plate and I + 8 & 9 Vict. c. 22 (1844). 
Plate Buyers," April, 1876. I % 12 Geo. II. c. 26 (1739). 



chap, vin.] FEAUDS AND OFFENCES. 163 

standards, whilst the act of the present reign deals with 
abuses in the marking of wares. 

As to the standards, then, the act of 1739 provided 
that all gold wares should not be less in fineness than 
22 carats of fine gold, and all silver wares not less than 
11 oz. 2 dwts. of fine silver in every pound weight 
Troy, and inflicted by s. 1 a penalty of £10 for every 
offence. 

It is, however, not quite certain but that these offences 
are still indictable as misdemeanors under older legisla- 
tion, for the ancient acts of 28 Edw. I., 2 Hen. VL, 
18 Eliz., and 12 Will. III. are recited but not repealed by 
the act we are now considering, and since the passing of 
it, prisoners have been sentenced to fine and imprison- 
ment on indictment under 28 Edw. I. for making silver 
plate worse than standard. Instances of this occurred 
in 1758, 1759, and 1774, the last case being tried by 
Lord Mansfield.* 

The act of 1739 also inflicts a penalty of £10, or in 
default imprisonment, for selling, exchanging, or expos- 
ing to sale any gold or silver ware before it is duly 
marked, and directs the entry of maker's marks at the 
Goldsmiths' Hall ; it also details under penalties the 
particulars which must accompany every parcel of wares 
sent to the assay office for stamping. These last are 
repeated in the Duty Act of 1784. 

Turning now to the other branch of the subject, we 
find that everything relating to the prevention of frauds 
and abuses in the marking of gold and silver wares in 
England is summed up in the act of 1844,t which 
enumerates the following offences, all punishable as 
felonies : — 



* E. v. Jackson. Cowper, 297. | t 7 & 8 Vict. c. 22. 

M 2 



164 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. viii. 

Sec. 2. Forging or counterfeiting any Die for marking Gold or Silver 

Wares or knowingly uttering the same ; 
Marking Wares with forged Dies, or uttering them ; 
Forging any Mark of any Die, or uttering the same ; 
Transposing or removing Marks, or uttering them ; 
Having in possession knowingly any such Die, or Ware marked 

with the same ; 
Cutting or severing Marks with Intent to affix them upon other 

Wares ; 
Affixing any Mark cut or severed from any other Ware ; 
Fraudulently using genuine Dies. 

Further directions meet other offences, as follows : — 

Sec. 3. Selling or having possession of any Wares with forged or trans- 
posed Marks without lawful excuse (even unknowing that 
the Marks were so forged or transposed); penalty £10 each 
offence. 

Sec. 4. Dealers to be exempt from the above penalties on giving up the 
names of the actual manufacturer of such wares of gold or 
silver or base metal, or of the person from whom they received 
them, but not from the consequence of uttering them with 
guilty knowledge, 

Sec. 5. Adding to, or altering by addition or otherwise the character of 
wares already marked and so as to increase the weight by 
more than one-third of the original weight, without having 
them re-assayed as new ; or in certain cases, with the assent 
of the Company, the added part only assayed ; or selling such 
ware without the same being marked; penalty £10 for each 
offence and forfeiture of the ware. 

Sec, 6. Exemptions to the preceding section corresponding to those of 
section 4. 

Sec. 7. If any officer of any of the Halls shall mark any base metal with 
any die, etc., such Company to be liable to a penalty of £20, 
the officer to be dismissed and the ware seized. 

Sec. 8. Dealers to register every place where they work or carry on 
business or deposit wares, under a penalty of £5. 

Sec. 9. Dealers not to fraudulently erase, obliterate or deface any mark 
under a penalty of £5. 

Sec. 11. Upon information given upon oath against persons suspected of 
having in possession illegal wares, etc., Justices may grant 
search warrants, but not for wares not required to be marked. 

Sec. 12. Actions to be commenced within three months after the fact 
committed. 

This being the state of the law, at the risk of repeat- 
ing what has been said by other writers, some notice 



chap, vin.] FKAUDS AND OFFENCES. 165 

must be taken of the most instructive case that had oc- 
curred under it down to last year, condensing our 
account from that given by Mr. Kyland.* 

Two silversmiths were tried before Lord Denman at 
Taunton Spring Assizes, 1849, for having in their posses- 
sion, without lawful excuse, a silver spoon and soup- 
ladle having thereon marks of dies used by the Gold- 
smiths' Company which had been transposed from silver 
skewers. The spoon and ladle were of modern make, 
but bore the mark of the year 1774. An officer from 
the Goldsmiths' Company proved that, on clearing off 
the gilding and using a bbw-pipe, he found that the 
spoon and ladle were not made in one piece, which 
would be the ordinary mode of manufacture, but that 
the parts bearing the marks were " inserted " or " brought 
on." A working silversmith proved that by direction of 
the prisoners he had made and sent to them two silver- 
bowls for spoons ; that they afterwards were returned to 
him with handles attached to be gilt, and when he 
burnished them he perceived the old hall-marks ; he 
proved also that the bowls and stems, or handles, were 
generally made together. 

The defence set up was that this did not amount 
to a transposition, but was only an addition, a minor 
offence under the act and entailing a lesser penalty; 
and it was suggested that the spoon and ladle were 
made by using old silver skewers with the old hall- 
mark for the stems, and adding to them bowls and 
figures at the top called " apostles " in order to give 
them the appearance of old plate, and that this was an 
addition, which, though a fraud in contravention of the 
act, would not be a felony. This ingenious transposal of 



* „ Assay of Gold and Silver Wares." London, 1852. 



166 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. viii. 

the process commended itself to the jury, and they 
acquitted the prisoners, though evidently against the 
summing up of the learned judge, who thought that the 
description of transposition in one section, and of addi- 
tion in another, came to much the same thing, and 
avowed that he was at a loss to see any difference between 
taking out just merely the mark and putting it into a 
new article, which would clearly be a transposition, and 
doing the same thing with some more dexterity and 
more disguise in a considerable length. A more recent 
case is not less suggestive. 

D. L. G., a dealer, carrying on business in London, 
was convicted at the Central Criminal Court in August, 
1876, of feloniously altering and transferring a certain 
mark of a die used by the Goldsmiths' Company under 
the following circumstances. A customer found dis- 
played in the prisoner's shop, and purchased for £10, 
a coffee-pot, hall-marked and bearing the letter m of 
the year 1747, there being appended to it a label with 
the words "120 years old." He also purchased of the 
prisoner a small silver ewer, bearing the goldsmiths' 
letter for 1 744. 

It being found that these articles were of recent 
manufacture, the Goldsmiths' Company issued a writ 
against the prisoner to recover penalties under s. 3 of 
the act we are considering, in regard to which, under 
another section, a dealer could, however, be protected 
if within twenty-one days he gave up the name of the 
person from whom he bought the article. At first 
stating that he had bought the article in the way of 
trade and did not know from whom, he afterwards gave 
the name of a working electro-plater, who was thereupon 
arrested, and, on the prisoner's evidence being committed 
for trial, pleaded guilty. Judgment was postponed, and 



chap, viii.] MODEEN FORGERIES. 167 

his evidence taken against the principal offender, from 
which it appeared that he had transferred to the coffee- 
pot and ewer certain old marks from pieces of silver 
brought to him by the prisoner for that purpose, the 
prisoner agreeing to purchase those articles if the witness 
would put the old marks on. The offenders were there- 
upon sentenced, the dealer to six months and the electro- 
plater to two months' imprisonment, in both cases with 
hard labour. 

There is nothing, however, so telling as personal 
experience : let us see what can be picked up in this 
way by the amateur of old plate as he walks along the 
London streets. 

He will soon see that in consequence of the first series 
of imitations having been usually of seventeenth century 
plate, and the better credit that silver work of the reigns 
of Queen Anne and the earlier Georges therefore main- 
tained, the latter period has become at last the more 
profitable one to attack, and that the market is now 
flooded with the plain and fluted plate of those reigns, 
which is made to all appearance, both at home and 
abroad for importation hither, by the waggon-load. 

Next he will find that the modern forger often scorns 
to be at the trouble of transposing or adding, call it 
which you will, genuine old hall-marks to modern plate. 
He boldly fashions antique plate, marks and all ; and 
here vre may say that so far from giving him information 
to turn to base advantage, as one writer has feared 
would be the case, the published lists of date letters and 
other marks have, by their very inaccuracies, proved pit- 
falls for those who have used them for purposes of fraud. 

How shall we distinguish the real from the spurious ? 
Well, one chance is, that our enquirer finds in nine cases 
out of ten that the forger has not learned his lesson 



168 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. viii. 

thoroughly ; a living amateur has seen, for instance, 
conspicuously labelled in a smart shop-window a pair 
of Queen-Anne-pattern candlesticks, bearing what pur- 
ported to be a well-known maker s mark, but on exami- 
nation found to be placed upon them in conjunction 
with the date-letter for a year that had elapsed long 
before the adoption and registration by that maker of 
the particular mark in question. 

Again, what would the reader say to finding that two 
specimens of Queen Anne plate, with their gadrooned 
edges, court-hand date-letters and all, of some five or ten 
years apart, and by quite different makers, should prove, 
on a careful examination of the ornamentation, to have 
come from the same atelier, a certain small defect in one 
of the tools used having left its fatal sign on both articles 
alike ? 

What, again, if he should see an Elizabethan treasure, 
say of 1576, put into a sale by its disgusted owner, who 
had arrived at a knowledge of its real age all too late, 
and knocked down by the auctioneer for a small sum as 
what is called in the trade a " duffer/' amid the chaff 
of an appreciative audience, which will possibly see it 
again before long under much the same circumstances ? 

Another surprise may await him if he should be for- 
tunate enough to secure for his collection some relic of 
thrilling historical interest, such as a cup proved by the 
inscription upon it to have been the gift of Mary Queen 
of Scots, to Darnley; for it is not beyond the bounds 
of possibility that he may meet ere long with another of 
precisely similar pattern, and proved as conclusively 
to have been the one given in exchange by Darnley to 
that unfortunate lady. 

As he will hardly expect to pick up a third treasure 
of this description, he may perhaps turn his attention 



chap, vni.] MODERN FOKGERIES. 169 

to real old " family plate," of wliicli there is naturally 
more in the market. It would be very odd if he could 
not come across some such, to be sold it may be pri- 
vately on commission, and of course in strict confi- 
dence "under peculiar circumstances," with a condition 
that the ancient coats of arms with which it is deco- 
rated are to be carefully erased. 

Much of this precious stuff has been bought by those 
who have afterwards found that, like some other people 
who preceded them — sero sapiunt Phryges, — they have 
come by their wisdom too late. 

Should he fail altogether in finding ready to his hand 
anything of the kinds just described, let him further 
beware of giving orders for articles not to be found 
of the date he covets, — a coffee-pot of the reign of 
Queen Elizabeth for example, — or he will run the risk of 
finding his newly-acquired possession, when at last some 
fortunate agent has picked one up for him, to be formed 
of the sloping body of an ordinary chalice of a well- 
known type in those days turned bottom upwards to 
get the slope the right way and fitted with a foot and 
lid, handle and spout of suitable fashion, the position of 
the hall-marks upside down in a row round the lower 
part of the pot revealing to the initiated the ingenious 
adaptation. 

Here we may remark that the observant amateur will 
soon find a good guide in the situation of the hall- 
marks ; those marks were always placed by rule, and 
will be found in unusual places on pieces of plate that 
have been altered from their original shape. 

An early tankard will be marked on the side near 
the handle, and straight across the flat lid in a parallel 
line with the purchase or perhaps upon the flange of the 
lid, but a more modern one will be stamped on the 



170 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. viii. 

bottom and inside the lid; a standing cup of Queen 
Anne or earlier bears the marks round the margin, one 
of thirty years later on the bottom of the bowl up 
inside the hollow stem, and so on in other cases. 

Time was when ornamentation of one date coupled 
with hall-marks of another would have passed muster, 
and here the illustrations given in later chapters will 
be of some use ; but such anomalies as these are not so 
often found now, and the buyer is left to the careful 
examination of the metal itself, of the execution rather 
than the fashion of the ornamentation, and. of the hall- 
marks. The former in spurious specimens will be rolled 
silver perhaps, instead of hammered, and betray to the 
practised eye and hand what has been called "a fatal 
air of newness," the same may be said of the fashion 
and decoration, especially the gilding if any be present ; 
and the hall-marks are at present so little understood 
that forgeries almost court detection by trained eyes, 
but trained they must be. Failing this, the buyer 
can scarcely do better than resort for what he wants 
to one or other of the great houses of goldsmiths 
whose names are household words, and leave himself in 
their hands, or to some respectable and well-skilled 
tradesman. Good plate and genuine after all can be 
got, and it is into such hands that what is really 
valuable generally passes. Patience and money the 
collector will require, and plenty of both ; for such 
houses as these do not make old plate to order, and 
they are as much as other people under the laws of 
supply and demand which regulate the price of it when 
it comes into the market. 

But if the buyer prefer foraging for himself, whether 
in highway, bye-way, or sale-room, forewarned is to 
some extent forearmed, and surely he is better off with 



chap, viii.] MODERN FOBGERIES. 171 

the best means of forming a good judgment placed at 
his disposal than in ignorance of facts the greater part 
of which are already well known to the fraudulent, and 
daily used against their victims. 

Our often quoted " Quarterly Eeviewer " ended his 
article as we do this chapter — caveat emptor. 



CHAPTER IX. 

ECCLESIASTICAL PLATE. 

Episcopal Constitutions relating to church plate — Church goods, how 
affected by the events of the reigns of Edward VI. and Queen 
Elizabeth — Chalices exchanged for communion cups — Pre-Keforma- 
tion chalices and patens — Elizabethan communion cups — Modern 
chalices, communion cups and patens — -Flagons — Alms-dishes — 
Candlesticks. 

The preceding chapters have dealt with the marks by 
which the age and authenticity of ancient plate may be 
verified, and it is time to turn to what remains of the 
possessions of our ancestors, and to see what additional 
information may be gathered from its fashion and other 
circumstances. 

It will be convenient to divide the subject into two 
portions, devoting the present chapter to ecclesiastical 
plate, reserving decorative and domestic plate for separate 
consideration. 

The misfortunes that befel the goods of the church in 
England during the sixteenth century and the simplicity 
of later ritual have shortened the history of our church 
plate a good deal, but some few historical remarks are 
necessary to enable us to understand the little that 
remains, telling us, as it were, of what is lost. It is to 
be feared that all the important examples of pre-Reforma- 
tion art now left in England may be counted on the 
fingers ; for the rest, cathedral and church alike possess 



chap, ix.] MEDIAEVAL CHURCH PLATE. 173 

certain simple articles of communion and altar plate of 
dates ranging from the reign of Edward VI. to the 
present day, varying only in their size and number but 
not in their design nor character. 

It is difficult to realise the splendour of the display 
that would have met the eye of him who entered one 
of our great cathedrals or wealthy parish churches on 
any high festival day in the three or four centuries 
that preceded the Eeformation. The church was the 
nursing-mother of the arts, which lent themselves in 
their turn to the adornment of her services ; the monks 
were the goldsmiths of the middle ages; St. Dunstan 
himself was the patron of their craft in England ; what 
wonder, then, that the wealth of gold and silver in its 
shrines and treasuries was immense, so immense as to 
be almost incredible. 

It would be foreign to our present purpose to reprint 
long lists of treasures, of which not so much as one 
remains ; but a notice of the earlier examples of English 
church plate that still exist, considered as specimens of 
silver-work, will throw some light into a corner of the 
subject that has not been much explored. 

Let us take for a starting-point the episcopal constitu- 
tions which ordained what ornaments and furniture were 
necessary for the ordinary service of the church. One of 
the best of these is that of Kobert Winchelsey, Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, 1293 — 1313, who directs, in 1305, 
that parishes should provide, and keep in proper repair, 
the following articles : — * 

" Legendam antiphonarium gradale psalterium tro- 
perium ordinale missale manuale calicem vestamentum 
principale cum casula dalmatica tunica et cum capa in 



* Lyndewode, Provincialis, Lib. iii. tit. De ecclesiis edificandis, fo. 137. 



174 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. ix. 

choro cum omnibus suis appendiciis frontale ad mag- 
num altare cum tribus tuellis tria superpellicia unum 
roclietum crucem processionalem crucem pro mortuis 
thuribulum lucernam tintinabulum ad deferendum coram 
corpore Christi in visitation e infirmorum pixidem pro 
corpore Christi honestum velum quadragesimale vexilla 
pro rogationibus campanas cum chordis feretrum pro 
defunctis vas pro aqua benedicta osculatorium cande- 
labrum pro cereo Paschali fontem cum serura imagines in 
ecclesia imaginem principalem in cancello." 

In another edition of these same constitutions a 
chrismatory is added to these requirements. 

We have given the complete list, as it is a very full 
and interesting one, and more of it has some relation 
to the art of the goldsmith than might seem likely at 
first sight; for besides the sacramental vessels, the 
pyx, thurible, chrismatory, osculatory and the like, the 
images also and the covers of the service-books were 
often of silver and of great weight. The image of its 
patron saint, taken from the chapel of St. Stephen at 
Westminster in the time of Henry VIII. , weighed no 
less than thirteen score and thirteen ounces, and the 
inventory of St. Olave's, Southwark, in 1552, includes a 
" gospeller booke garnyshed with sylver and parcell 
gylte with Mary and John, weynge cxx. ounces," and a 
"pisteler booke with Peter and Palle garnished with 
sylver and parcell gylte weynge C. ounces/' Such covers 
as these served as pax-bredes or osculatories. 

The requirements of Winchelsey are almost identical 
with those of Archbishop Simon in 1368 ; and if certain 
other articles, such as phials for wine and water and also 
candlesticks, are mentioned by an earlier prelate Gilbert 
de Bridport Bishop of Sarum in 1256, the pyx, the 
vessel for holy-water, and the osculatory — all included 



chap, ix.] CHURCH GOODS UNDER EDWARD VI, 



175 



by Archbishop Winchelsey — are omitted from the more 
ancient list. The Constitutions of William de Bleys in 
1229 add but a single item of interest, an unconsecrated 
chalice, which might be of tin, for burial with the priest.* 

Further, it is clear that even in early days country 
churches were properly supplied with all these vessels, 
vestments, books, and other necessaries. The inventories 
taken by William de Swyneflete, Archdeacon of Norwich 
in or about 1368, the year of Archbishop Simon's Con- 
stitutions, may be quoted to show that the Norwich 
churches were all amply supplied at that time, and later 
visitations give the same testimony.! 

In the reign of Edward VI. there is ample evidence of 
the great value of parish church plate years after the 
events of his father's reign had bestowed the still greater 
treasures of cathedrals and monasteries upon the king 
under the general name of " Church-stuff." St. Olave's, 
Southwark, in 1552 still possessed no less than 1062 
ounces of silver in chalices, crosses, basons, mounted 
covers for the books, pyxes, a pax, a chrismatory, censers, 
cruets, and the like ; a church in Norwich returned a 
list of 857 ounces to the commissioners about the same 
time ; and it was the same everywhere, the amounts 
varying with the importance of the parishes. 

It is hardly fair to credit King Henry VIII. and his 
advisers with the whole of the spoliation which was wit- 
nessed by the quarter of a century which commenced in 
1536. On the contrary, it was reserved for succeed- 
ing reigns to carry on the destruction then begun, for 
the seizure of parish church plate was not decided upon 
until the last year of King Edward VI., and was not 



* For these two later Consti- 
tutions, see Wilkins's "Concilia," 
Vol. I. pp. 714 and 623. 



f Norfolk and Norwich Archaeo- 
logy, Vol. Y. 93. 



176 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. ix. 

completed without the aid of the Protestant reaction 
which setting in on the accession of Elizabeth, resulted 
in some places in a repetition of the excesses in which 
the puritanism of her brothers reign had vented itself. 

It is not wonderful that parochial authorities, alarmed 
at the misfortunes which had fallen upon their more 
powerful neighbours, the monasteries, guilds, and fra- 
ternities, took advantage of the excuse afforded by the 
necessity of altering their churches, and adapting them 
to the new and more simple ritual, and of repairing the 
damage done by the destruction of painted glass, images, 
and all that could come under the denomination of 
"monuments of superstition/' to dispose of a portion of 
their more valuable property to meet these extraordinary 
expenses. This practice, commencing about 1536, soon 
became so general, that the commissioners sent through 
the land more than once in the reign of Edward VI. 
professed to take their inventories for the purpose of 
stopping it, and ensuring the preservation of all 
that was left. In fact, their proceedings go far to 
show that up to that time, whilst much that was 
valuable had been alienated by churchwardens them- 
selves for repairs and other like expenses, real or 
pretended, neither plunder nor embezzlement from other 
quarters had done much harm. This, however, compels 
us to note in passing the extraordinary number of 
losses by thieves that are mentioned in the returns of 
these churchwardens. If they are to be believed, almost 
every church in many counties was broken into and 
robbed at some time or other in the interval between 
1547 and 1553. The commissioners of the year last 
mentioned were ordered to make strict comparison of the 
returns now made to them, with the best of the inven- 
tories compiled in answer to the earlier inquisitions of 



chap, ix.] SALES OF CHURCH PLATE, 177 

the reign, and it was very doubtful how much of the 
proceeds of any sales of church furniture that had been 
effected, the parishes would be allowed to retain, but for 
some such valid excuse. It is hardly possible to get rid 
of a suspicion that such a representation was found the 
simplest mode of accounting for missing articles. Many 
of the returns honestly represented that by " the consent 
and agreement of all the parishioners" the church- 
wardens had sold some of their plate, and spent the 
proceeds on improvements and necessary expenses. 
Large quantities of church stuff came in this way into 
private hands, and this would seem to dispose, to some 
extent, of the charges so broadly made by Heylin, and to 
be found also in Fuller's " Church History/' of general 
plunder and spoliation. Both these authorities comment 
upon the parlours to be found hung with altar-cloths, 
tables and beds covered with copes, carousing cups made 
of chalices, and the like ; Fuller adding, that " as if first 
laying hands upon them were sufficient title unto them ; 
seizing on them was generally the price they had payed 
for them." 

Heylin says, " It was a sorry house and not worth 
the naming, which had not somewhat of this furniture 
in it ; " but how could it be otherwise if churchwardens 
provided themselves in this way with the funds they 
required for such purposes as * " altering of oure churche, 
and fynisshing of the same according to our myndes 
and the parisshioners. Itm., for the new glassing of 
xvii. wyndows wherein were conteyned the lyves of 
certen prophane histories and other olde wyndows in 
church. 

" Itm. for and towards the paving of the kinge's highe 



* Norfolk Archseologj/, Vol. VI. p. 364. 



178 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. ix. 

way in stoans aboughte oure Churche and in our Parisshe 
which was foule and nedefull to be doon. 

" Item, for a cheste and a box sette in our Churche 
according to the Kinge's Maties Injunctions." 

After all, these and such like alterations and repairs 
were ordered by the Injunctions issued on the accession 
of Edward VI. in 1547 "to all his loving subjects, 
clergy and laity," though it was not perhaps intended 
that the expenses should be met oat of the sale of valu- 
ables which might eventually be seized when decent 
pretence arose. Much of these injunctions reappeared in 
the following year in the Visitation Articles of the 
province of Canterbury, which at the same time straitly 
enquired of the clergy " whether they have not monished 
their parishioners openly that they should not sell, give, 
nor otherwise alienate any of their Church goods.* But 
Koyal injunctions were still more imperative, and the 
expenses were no doubt met in the most obvious way ; 
indeed these injunctions actually authorised the church- 
wardens to bestow part of their property upon the 
reparation of the Church, " if great need requires, and 
whereas the parish is very poor, and not able otherwise 
to repair the same." So things went on until the last 
year of Edward VI., when the final step was taken of 
seizing all that was then left, or nearly all, for the Com- 
missioners were directed even then to leave " one, two, 
or more chalices or cuppes according to the multitude of 
people." 

For this the Crown may have said in excuse that by 
this time all the repairs and alterations rendered neces- 
sary by the Reformation had been effected, and that what 
was still over after making all due provision for the 



Cardwell's "Documentary Annals," Vol. I. 42. 



chap, ix.] CHALICES ABOLISHED. 179 

future use of the Church according to the simplified 
ritual was superfluous if not superstitious, and in either 
case proper for conversion to His Majesty's use. 

It may be asked where then are these " one, two, or 
more chalices/' even if all the rest have perished ? Will 
they not form an ample remnant by which to judge the 
ecclesiastical goldsmith of earlier times ? 

Alas ! it must be said that they too have perished 
with the rest, for whilst the instructions of the Commis- 
sioners directed their return, the King's injunctions 
ensured their destruction, for by the latter, after more 
minute provisions, it was directed in one sweeping 
general clause that " all monuments of feigned miracles, 
pilgrimages, idolatry, and superstition " were to be 
taken away, utterly extinguished, and destroyed, "so 
that there remains no memory of the same in walls, 
glass windows, or elsewhere within churches or houses." 
The holy vessels that had been used at the mass 
were from this point of view no less " monuments 
of superstition " than the representations of saints in 
windows of painted glass, or sculptured in stone to 
occupy the canopied niches of the reredos, and all fell 
under the same ban. 

Let us illustrate its practical working by the case of 
the parish of Dartford in Kent, where the Commis- 
sioners are found expressly ordering, in 1553 (6 Edward 
VI), that the chalices and patens, and a pax to add to 
the quantity of silver retained by the inhabitants, should 
" be exchanged by the said church-wardens for ij cuppes 
to receyve the Communyon in to amount to the like 
weyght and value." Some parishes, in compliance with 
the feeling of the time and the injunctions, had already 
altered their chalices into Communion cups. Quite as 
many of the parishes in the county of Surrey in the year 

N 2 



180 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. ix. 

last-mentioned certify to the possession of communion 
cups as of chalices ; some return in their list of plate 
one of each, marking the distinction, and some mention 
the exchange of one for the other. The churchwardens 
of St. Andrew's, Norwich, mention such a transaction 
also in 6 Edward VI. : — ■ 

u There do no we remayne in the seide Churche at this 
day one Communyon Cuppe weing xl. unces parcell gilte 
at v s the unce S m x li. which e was made of twoo peir of 
challeis w* the patens parcell gilte." 

St. Saviour's, Southwark, sometime between the in- 
ventory taken in 1548 and that of 1552 had parted 
with four chalices weighing fifty-four ounces to one 
Calton at the sign of the Purse in Cheap, of which the 
said Calton made two communion cups weighing but 
fifty- two ounces. The parish was constrained to charge 
the difference, being 1 7s. 8d. 9 against itself, on the occa- 
sion of the later of the above inventories being taken."* 

The parochial authorities of Wimbledon, co. Surrey, 
record among the receipts for 1552 the following : — 

" Eeceivede for thre chalisses waying xxx u and v 
ounces at v s the ownce whereof went to the communyon 
cuppe xxj ounces and a quartern which commeth to 
v 11 vi s iij d . And so remayneth xiij ownces and thre 
quartours which commythe to iii 11 viii s ix d whereof paide 
to Eobert Wygge goldesmythe of London for the making 
and gilding of the communyon cupp after xx d an ounce 
which commyth to xxxv s v d ." * 

A few such communion cups provided under Edward 
VI. may still be seen. Two are the property of another 
great parish in London to this day, but most of them 
were only made to be almost directly destroyed again, as 



':' Surrey Church Notes," by J. E. Daniel-Tyssen, Esq. 



chap, ix.] INJUNCTIONS OF QUEEN ELIZABETH. 181 

unfit for the purposes of the restored ritual of the reign 
of Queen Mary. True it is that the respite consequent 
upon her accession following so quickly upon the heels 
of the Commissioners, for the King died that same year, 
saved for a time some of the few ancient chalices left by 
them in accordance with their instructions in the hands 
of their owners : for such of these as had not been im- 
mediately destroyed, like those at Dartford, were brought 
again into use, and of course carefully preserved until 
the end of Queen Mary's short reign. In some cases too 
the Commissioners had not had time to carry out their 
work at all. Chelmsford, for example, is found dealing 
with plate in 1558, which would not then have been in 
their possession if the Commissioners of Edward VI. 
had ever got there. But at last these relics which had 
weathered all previous storms fell victims to the stringent 
orders of Queen Elizabeth and her prelates at the head of 
the outburst of Protestant zeal which then ensued. 

Once again were the Injunctions of King Edward VI. 
re-enforced, and repeated almost word for word in those 
issued by Elizabeth ; the proscribed church goods were 
again followed even into private hands, for the Visita- 
tion Articles of 1558 enquire, as did those of 2 Edward 
VI., " whether you know any that keep in their houses 
any undefaced images, tables, pictures, paintings, or 
other monuments of feigned and false miracles, pilgrim- 
ages, idolatry and superstition, and do adore them, and 
especially such as have been set up in churches, chapels, 
and oratories." 

Inclination and injunction seemed now to work in har- 
mony, and each parish vied with its neighbours in the 
haste with which it proceeded to melt up what remained 
of its plate, especially all that had been profaned by use 
at the Mass, but still it seemed to the bishops of the 



182 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. ix. 

reformed church necessary to maintain the stringency of 
former orders, and even as late as 1569 we find amongst 
articles to be enquired of within the Diocese of Canter- 
bury at the ordinary Visitation of Matthew Parker, the 
following : — * 

" Whether they do minister in any prophane cuppes 
bowles, dishes, or chalices heretofore used at masse or 
els in a decent Communion cuppe provided and kept 
for the same purpose only." 

Lastly, we may quote the Visitation Articles of Arch- 
bishop Grindal, in 1576, enquiring " Whether you have 
in your Parish Churches and Chapels, a fair and comely 
Communion Cup of Silver, and a Cover of Silver for the 
same, which may serve also for the ministration of the 
Communion Bread/' 

The churchwardens' accounts of every year from 1558 
teem with notes of changes made in obedience to these 
orders ; a few examples may be taken from town and 
country. 

Amongst the parochial payments of St. Andrew-Hub- 
bard in London for 1558 is the following : — 

" Paide for the Eschaunge of two chalices with the 
covers weyghing xxxii oz. halfe for a communion cup 
waying xxx oz. and halfe thexchaunge with the odde oz. 
at xiiij s viij d ." 

At Chelmsford these items occur in 1560 : — 

" Eeceived of Mr. Mustchampe goldsmyth at the syne 
of the ryng with the rube in Lumbarde St. for a gylt 
challys with a paten gylt waying xxiii oz. and a 
quarter at v s iiij d the ounce, som is vi 11 iiij s . 

" Paid to Mr. Muschamp in Lombard St. at the synge 
of the ring with the rube for a coupe of gilt weighing 
19 oz. 3 qi\, 6 s 8 d the oz., som is £6. 11. 7." 

* Cardwell's " Documentary Annals," I. 321. 



chap, ix.] PURCHASE OF COMMUNION CUPS. 183 

Bungay St. Mary in 1568 pays "For a Co'mmunyon 
cuppe made of one payer of chalice havyng a cover, for 
workmanship and some snV, xxi s ." 

The Leverton churchwardens in 1570 pay " Thomas 
Turpyn the goldsmith for facyonenge of the Communyon 
Cupp weynge xii oz., x s . 

" It m he putt to the same cupp a q ter and a half of an 
ounce of his own silver ij s ." 

In some parts of the country, perhaps owing to the 
energy of the diocesan, these changes were effected more 
promptly than in others. In the diocese of Norwich 
so many of the cups that remain are either of the year 
1567 or 1568 that it suggested an enquiry whether the 
Bishop of Norwich of that day, John Parkhurst, was 
not an exceptionally zealous reformer. He had been 
one of the exiles at Zurich, and Strype says of him, 
" and so delighted was he with the discipline and 
doctrine of that Church, that he often wished that 
our Church were modelled exactly according to that."* 
The annalist goes on to say, " this bishop was sup- 
posed to be inclinable to the puritans, and to wink at 
them." 

To these notes may be added an extract from his injunc- 
tions of 1561, the year of his first visitation, in which 
he directs his clergy to " see the places filled up in 
walles or ellswhere where imagies stode, so as if ther 
hadde been none there." 

Again, in later injunctions of 1569, he asks, 

" Item, whether you have in your Church a decent 
pulpit and Communion table, furnished and placed as 
becometh, with a comely Communion cup with a 
cover." . . . 



* Annals, I. ii. pp. 508-9. 



184 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. ix. 

In the west of England most of these cups were 
obtained some few years later, but every village far and 
near was properly provided by 1580 ; and not only were 
they so provided, but in many a church the very same 
" fair and comely Communion Cup " is in existence and 
in use at the present day. 

We are now in a position to say what the antiquary 
may expect to find around him in church or cabinet. 

It may be summed up very shortly ; he will find a 
few — a very few — Gothic chalices and their patens, 
remains of pre-Eeformation art. The writer of these 
pages does not know, after extensive enquiry, of more 
than half a dozen, and these have, no doubt, owed their 
preservation in each case to some favouring local 
circumstances. 

He will find here and there a communion cup with its 
cover of the reign of Edward VI., made no doubt of the 
materials afforded by some more ancient chalice. Of these 
there are still fewer than of the chalices which preceded 
them ; and next in order he will find broadcast over the 
whole country a multitude of examples of the communion 
cups provided in the first years of Queen Elizabeth under 
the circumstances that have been narrated, each with its 
paten-cover ; and he will find flagons of shapes varying 
with their date, and other special considerations to be 
mentioned later. 

Coming to more modern times there is less and less to 
be said; the needs of an increased population, and the 
pious liberality of donors, have added from time to 
time to the quantity of our church plate, but not to 
its interest or artistic value. Art in these matters 
appears to have steadily declined from the middle of 
the sixteenth to the middle of the present century, 
when a salutary reaction has directed attention to the 



chap, ix.] ANCIENT CHALICES. 185 

examples that Gothic art has left for our study and 
guidance. Modern reproductions of these, in some cases 
admirable, in others still leave much to be desired ; a 
slavish adherence to models that cannot be surpassed 
would be better than the bastard results of coupling 
pure Gothic form with inappropriate ornamentation, 
or of adapting beautiful Gothic adornment to articles of 
debased and tasteless modern form. 

CHALICES. 

In the early days of the Church, chalices were no 
doubt formed of various materials, some of them simple 
and quite the reverse of costly, but in process of time 
objections were found to these, wood was porous, and 
liable to absorb a portion of the sacred element placed 
within, horn was an animal substance and so formed by 
blood, glass, crystal and precious stones were all brittle 
and liable to fracture, and at length the precious metals 
alone were allowed to be employed. It was decreed by 
the Council of Rheims in 847 that if not of gold, chalices 
should be wholly of silver ; tin being allowed only in 
cases where means to provide anything better were 
wanting. Other materials were forbidden altogether. 
Silver is prescribed by a constitution of Stephen Langton 
(1206),* the commentator in Lyndewode adding " vel 
aureum." The earliest chalices now known to exist in 
England are some that have from time to time been 
discovered in the coffins of bishops and priests of the 
eleventh, and following centuries. Examples, both of 
silver and pewter, have been found in' coffins at Salisbury 
and Chichester Cathedrals, and also at other places-. 
Those in the coffins which are supposed to be of Bishops 



* Lyndewode, lib. iii., fol. 136. 



186 OLD ENGLISH PLATE, [chap. ix. 

Seffride and Hilary, successively occupants of the See of 
Chichester in the twelfth century, were of silver gilt and 
have their patens, an earlier one probably buried with 
Bishop Godefridus of Chichester who died in 1088 is of 
pewter, this also has its paten. 

Those found at Salisbury are of good shape, the 
bowls wide and shallow, the stem and foot being cir- 
cular, decorated with chasing, and having ornamental 
knops. 

An engraving, borrowed from the " Transactions of 




No. 2. — PEWTER COFFIN CHALICE AND PATEN OF THE 13TH CENTURY. 

the Surrey Archaeological Society," is given of a pewter 
coffin chalice found at Cheam in Surrey, which is attri- 
buted to the thirteenth century ; its paten is placed in 
the top of the bowl. This is of ruder design than the 
silver ones found at Salisbury. 

Something too may be gathered as to the fashion of 
the chalices of these centuries from wills and mortuaries. 
Nicholas de Farnham in 1257 bequeaths to the monks of 
Durham, "j calix cum lapidibus pretiosis in pede," and 



chap, ix.] PRE-KEFOKMATION CHALICES. 187 

John, Earl of Warrenne, in 1347 another such to Durham 
Cathedral. It is described in his will as " unum calicem 
magni valoris de auro purissimo cum multis lapidibus 
pretiosis insertis." 

In the inventory of the goods of a bishop of Durham 
who died in 1381, his chalices are mentioned as 
follows: — " j calicem magnum argenteum et deauratum 
in cujus pede est ymago Domini crucifixi et super 
nodum ejusdem Scuta armorum ejusdem Episcopi cum 
iij leunculis argent eis. It m j cuppam infra deauratam et 
extra anemelatam pro Eukaristia." 

Stephen Lescrop, Archdeacon of Kichmond, makes a 
bequest in 1418, of "unum chalescuppe cum longo pede 
de argento deauratum et coopertum cum j knop in 
sumitate." 

Proof could be adduced that chalices were cups of 
a somewhat fixed and well known form, from the 
fact that drinking vessels were sometimes described 
as " chalyswyse," or "ad modum calicis factum." Sir 
K. de Eoos mentions in his will, dated 1392, "unum 
ciphum qui vocatur chaliscopp ; " whilst amongst a 
number of articles of table-plate bought by Edward III. 
in 1366 of Thomas Hessey his goldsmith, and presented 
to the Constable of Flanders and other personages as 
gifts from the King, was "un coup de chalice endorr' et 
esmV 

Mr. Octavius Morgan says as to the form of the 
pre-reformation English chalice, " A chalice consists of 
three -parts — the cup or bowl ; the stem, which in its 
middle swelled into a bulb called the knop ; and the 
foot. The bowl itself was usually quite plain, in order 
that it might be more easily kept pure and clean. The 
stem, knop and foot were frequently ornamented with 
enamels, or chased work representing the emblems of the 



188 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. ix. 

Passion or other sacred subjects ; and on the foot, which 
was usually made hexagonal, to prevent the chalice 
rolling when laid upon its side to drain, there was 
always a cross which the priest kept towards himself 
at the time of celebration. In the thirteenth cen- 
tury the chalices seem to have been short and low, 
and the bowl wide and shallow, as exemplified by the 
celebrated chalice of St. Eemy, once at Pheims, but 
removed to the Bibliotheque Imperiale, which is con- 
sidered to be of the time of St. Louis, as also by the 
chalices of silver and pewter which have been found in 
the tombs of the priests of that century. In the four- 
teenth century they were made taller, the bowls assumed 
a decidedly conical form, being narrow at the bottom, 
and having the sides sloping straight outwards. In the 
fifteenth century they were usually broader at the 
bottom with the sides still forming part of a cone, like 
that at Nettlecombe, co. Somerset, till a form altogether 
hemispherical was assumed, of which a fine chalice at 
Leominster figured in the c Archseologia/ vol. xxxv. p. 489, 
is a noble specimen. Of this type also is one at Comb 
Pyne in Dorsetshire." 

The chalice mentioned by Mr. Morgan as at Nettle- 
combe, together with those now preserved at Trinity and 
Corpus Christi Colleges, Oxford, have been selected as 
illustrations for this volume, chiefly because of their 
beauty and merit, but also for the reason that they are 
all three hall-marked, and their dates therefore approxi- 
mately known. 

The Nettlecombe Chalice and its Paten were brought 
to light by Mr. Octavius Morgan some years ago, and 
are of the greatest interest, not only from their beauty 
and perfect condition but from their antiquity, for they 
are older than any other hall-marked example of English 



CHAP. IX.] 



THE NETTLECOMBE CHALICE. 



189 



goldsmith's work except the Pudsey spoon. They are 
described by Mr. Morgan as follows : — * 

"The Chalice and Paten are of silver gilt. Their 
forms are elegant ; both were originally ornamented 
with enamels, and although they have been in use for 
many centuries, they have sustained but little injury. 







No. 3.— CHALICE (1459) AT NETTLECOMBE, CO. SOMERSET. 



The chalice stands very nearly six inches high. The 
bowl is in form between a cone and a hemisphere, that 
is the bottom is broad and round, whilst the sides 
continue straight and conical, a form which is rather 



* This description originally ap- 
peared in " Archseologia," and was 
accompanied by coloured litho- 
graphs of the chalice and paten of 



the actual size of the originals, 
from which the engravings pre- 
pared for this volume have been 
carefully reduced. 



190 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. ix. 

indicative of its date. This bowl is supported on a 
hexagonal stem divided into two portions by the knop, 
which is a beautiful piece of goldsmith's work, formed by 
the projection from the angles of the stem of six short 
square arms, each terminating in a lion's mask or in 
proper heraldic language ' a leopard's head,' and having 
the intermediate spaces filled up with elegant flowing 
Gothic tracery of pierced open work. The lower part of 
the stem rests on a curved hexagonal foot being united 
to it by Gothic mouldings, and the foot terminates in 
an upright basement moulding, which is enriched with 
a small vertically reeded band. One of the six com- 
partments of the foot was ornamented, as is usual in 
ancient chalices, by a representation of the Crucifixion. 
The metal of this compartment has been cut out, and a 
silver plate engraved with the Crucifixion has been 
rudely riveted in. This silver plate is, I think, the 
original work, and it was formerly enamelled — for it 
would probably have been found easier and more con- 
venient to prepare the enamel on a small separate plate 
and then fix it in its place, than to have subjected the 
whole chalice to the heat of the enameller's furnace, 
which must have been the case had the enamel been 
done on the foot itself. The silver plate is deeply 
engraved, or rather the metal is tooled out to receive 
transparent enamel in the style of the work of the 
fourteenth or the beginning of the fifteenth century, and 
small traces of the enamel with which it has been filled 
may still be discovered. It will be seen at once that the 
design was made for the place from the peculiar attitude 
of the figure, the arms being drawn up over the head, to 
adapt it to the form of the compartment. 

" The paten is \% inches in diameter with a narrow 
moulded edge and a brim like an ordinary plate, within 



chap, ix.] THE NETTLECOMBE PATEN. 191 

which is sunk a six-lobed depression. The centre points 
from which the workman formed the lobes are still 
visible, and the spandrels between the lobes are filled 
with a small radiating ornament as is usual in similar 
early patens, which are not unfrequently met with. In 
the centre is a still further depression, in which has 
been inserted from the back a small silver plate having 



No. 4. —PATEN (1459) AT NETTLECOMBE, CO. SOMERSET. 

in transparent enamel sunk in the metal, a representa- 
tion of the vernicle, or face of our Saviour surrounded 
by a cruciform nimbus. It fortunately remains perfect. 
This central depression with an inserted plate of enamel 
is very unusual, the surface of patens being usually 
made as smooth as possible. The back of this small 
plate is gilt and engraved with the sacred monogram 
(see woodcut) in black letter of the fifteenth century/' 



192 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. 



[chap. IX. 



Such patens were usually made to match the chalices 
with which they were used, and the two were sometimes 
called " a pair of chalice " or " chalice with his paten," 
in old inventories of church goods. The depression of 
the paten often exactly fitted into the top of its chalice 
if placed upon it. The date of this chalice is almost 




No. 5. — BISHOP FOX'S CHALICE (1511) AT CORPUS CHRISTI COLLEGE, OXFORD. 



certainly 1459, though from the want of examples it is 
difficult to positively assign the date-letter which it 
plainly bears to that year, for it might possibly stand 
for the year 1479. Its shape and its many other points 
of resemblance to the chalice given by Bishop Fox to 
Corpus Christi College, Oxford, which is undoubtedly 
of the year 1511, seem to point to the later, but the 
enamelling and the hall-mark to the earlier year as the 



chap, is.] CHALICE AT TEIN. COLL. OXFOED, 



193 



date of its make. In either case it is, as we have said, 
with its paten almost the oldest piece of English plate 
now in existence. It will be seen from the engravings of 
Bishop Fox s chalice (No. 5) and the chalice at Trinity 




J^ 0i 6.— SIR THOS. POPE'S CHALICE (1527) AT TRINITY COLLEGE, OXFORD, 



College, Oxford (No. 6), that they form a regular series, 
the cable-like edges to the stem and the engraving on the 
foot of the chalice of 1511 giving an intermediate point 
between the very beautiful simplicity of the earlier 
Nettlecombe chalice and the later one given by Sir 
Thomas Pope to Trinity College, the date of which is 



194 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. ix. 

1527. Much of Mr. Octavius Morgan's description of 
the Nettlecombe chalice is applicable to all three 
examples alike. Sir Thomas Pope's chalice bears all 
the ornamentation of the two older ones, and in addition 
an elaborately engraved inscription on a belt running 
round the bowl of the chalice, and the same on the rim 




No. 7.— paten; trinity college, oxford. 

of the paten. This inscription is not unusual. " A 
chalice with a patent gilt graven with Calicem Salu- 
taris weing xxi. onz.," is mentioned amongst the gilt 
plate belonging to Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Eichmond, 
at his death in the very year in which the Trinity 
College chalice was made. Would that more such 
remained, but these with other three at Leominster, 
Chewton Mendip and Comb Pyne respectively, are all 



CHAP. IX.] 



PBE-BEEOKMATION PATENS. 



195 



that have come to the knowledge of the writer. Patens 
of ancient date are more numerous ; several are still in 




No. 8. — COMMUNION CUP (1570) AT CIRENCESTER. 



use. That at Trinity College, Oxford, is one of the 
most elaborate (No. 7), and there is a small but beau- 
tiful specimen of the same kind in the collection of 

the Eev. Thomas Staniforth. This example is much, 

o 2 



196 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. ix. 

though somewhat rudely, engraved and the vernicle is 
not enamelled, but in other respects it much resembles 
the paten at Nettlecombe. This brings us to Protestant 
times and the new form of communion cup introduced 
in the reign of Elizabeth or rather of Edward VI. 

Those of the earlier reign are seldom to be found, 
and they so much resemble the engraving we have 
given (No. 8) of the communion cups of 1570 still pre- 
served at Cirencester, that more need not be said about 
them. They are large plain standing cups ; and from 
their size, being adapted for the use of the whole con- 
gregation, now that in 1547 the administration of the 
Communion in both kinds was restored according to the 
practice of the Early Church, they are a great contrast 
to the chalices they replaced. There is fortunately no 
lack of examples of the Elizabethan communion cup. 
They are found everywhere, and of the same form, and 
bearing the same style of ornamentation, from one end 
of England to the other. (See engraving No. 9.) There 
are sixteen within a walk of Cirencester, and as many in 
one county as another. Mr. Morgan has given the fol- 
lowing account of them : — 

"The chalice still consisted of the same parts, bowl, 
stem, and foot, though I have known two instances in 
small parishes where the chalices consist of the cup only, 
without stem or foot. The stem, although altered in 
form and character, still swells out in the middle into 
a small knob, or the rudiments of one, and is occa- 
sionally ornamented with small bands of a lozenge- 
shaped ornament, or some other such simple pattern, 
and the foot is invariably round, instead of indented or 
angular. The form of the cup, however, is altogether 
changed, and instead of being a shallow wide bowl, it is 
elongated into the form of an inverted truncated cone 



chap, ix.] ELIZABETHAN COMMUNION CUPS. 



197 





No. 9.— COMMUNION CUP AND PATEN-COVER (1576) AT CHPJSTCHUECH, 
CO. MONMOUTH. 



198 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. ix. 

slightly bell-shaped. The form of the paten is also much 
changed, the sunk part of the platter is often considerably 
deepened, the brim narrowed, and thereon is fixed a 
rim or edge by which it is made, when inverted, to fit 
on the cup as a cover, whilst a foot is added to it which 
serves also as a handle to the cover, as though it were 
intended to place the wine in the chalice and cover it 
with the paten-cover until the administration of the 
Sacrament, when the cover would be removed and used 
as a paten for holding the bread. On the bottom of 
the foot of the paten was a silver plate which almost 
always bears the date when it was made, and the 
name of the parish to which it belongs. The ornaments 
on all these chalices and paten-covers as they may be 
called, is invariably the same ; it consists simply of an 
engraved band round the body of the cup and on the 
top of the cover formed by two narrow fillets which 
interlace or cross each other with a particular curvature 
in every instance the same, the space between them 
being occupied by a scroll of foliage and this ornament 
is marked by a total absence of letters, monograms, 
emblems, or figures of any kind. It is curious how this 
exact uniformity of shape and ornament was so uni- 
versally adopted, unless there had been some regulation 
or standard pattern to go by, but I have not been able 
to find any such, to guide the makers." 

To this it may be added^ that some years ago, before 
much attention was paid to hall-marks, a silversmith 
assured the present writer that these cups were all made by 
order, and issued one to every parish by government under 
an Act of Parliament ; it is, however, hardly necessary 
to say now that no such Act can be found. They were 
made by provincial as well as London goldsmiths ; 
plenty were made at York, Exeter, and Norwich, and 



chap, ix.] ELIZABETHAN COMMUNION CUPS. 199 

there are almost as many different makers' marks upon 
them as there are cups themselves. 

No two again are exactly alike in size or finish, there 
is everything from the tiny cup of some village church 
weighing no more than five or six ounces and destitute 
of all ornament, up to a tall vessel a foot high, holding 
nearly a quart of wine, and fully ornamented as in the 
engraving, some few having a second belt around the 
cup. It may be remarked that both the Norwich and 
Exeter goldsmiths had patterns of their own for the 
bowl ; at Norwich they were made wider, shallower and 
with straighter sides than in London and elsewhere in 
England, and they often bore the name of the parish 
engraved around it instead of the ornament described 
by Mr. Morgan. Those made at Exeter are, without 
exception, very handsome vessels, quite as tall and 
deep as the London patterns given in our engravings, 
and the bowls vase-shaped, larger at the top than the 
bottom, the sides just at the rim turning straight up or 
almost inwards rather than forming a lip. Many of 
them are richly gilt or parcel gilt, and engraved more 
often than not with a quadruple belt interlaced in the 
usual manner, instead of the ordinary double one, and 
elaborately finished. Except for these small differences 
and local peculiarities, they are all so alike in shape and 
style, that it is indeed somewhat wonderful, as Mr. 
Morgan remarks, that no authority or direction for 
their formation has ever been found. Burnet and 
Strype, the Constitutions and Canons of the Church, 
the Acts and Proceedings in Convocation, the Docu- 
mentary Annals of the Eeformation, the Injunctions, 
Declarations, and Orders, were all searched by Mr. 
Morgan without finding any specific direction that 
would account for the extraordinary uniformity of 



200 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. ix. 

shape and pattern which could hardly have been the 
result of the taste or caprice of churchwardens or silver- 
smiths. To this long lisfc may be added the Statute Book, 
the Minutes of the Privy Council, and every other 
likely record which have all since been searched in vain. 

There is one suggestion left, that as the earliest of 
these cups is found in 1562, and as their peculiar form 
could not have become conventional without some 
authority, some regulation on the subject, though un- 
recorded, may have emanated from the Convocation 
held in London in that year, at which many important 
matters concerning the doctrine, articles, rites and 
discipline of the Church of England were settled. 

The same pattern found favour from this time to 
about the middle of the next century, but in examples 
of a later date than 1600 the engraved belt is usually 
wanting, and the bowls are perhaps rather straighter 
sided. There are good specimens of these at the 
Temple Church made in 1609, and a pair of rather 
plainer finish at Hackney Church of the year 1637. 
All these are about nine inches high. 

Between 1640 and 1660 the cup is found shaped 
something like the letter V, and supported by a baluster 
stem. An engraving (No. 10) is given of an example 
of this kind and date, together with other pewter com- 
munion vessels of the period, which are much like those 
made of more precious metal at the same time. 

From about the time of the Eestoration a ruder 
fashion prevailed, many cups are then found of great 
size, with straight sides having somewhat of a lip, and 
mounted on a plain circular stem and foot, wholly 
unrelieved by any ornament, save that the stem perhaps 
swells out at its centre into a simple boss or ring as 
plain as the rest of it. The paten-cover fitting on is 



chap, ix.] CHURCH PLATE TEMP. CHABLES II. 



201 



still found as on those at Westminster Abbey, dated 
1660, and many other places. 

Another pattern in vogue then and later, had an even 
ruder stem and foot all in one, it being merely a 
truncated cone somewhat of the shape of the bowl of 




$0. 10.— PEWTER COMMUNION VESSELS, CIRCA 1640. 



an Elizabethan communion cup, turned upside down, 
and attached to the bottom of the cup. These are not 
at all uncommon, but from this time the paten -cover 
is often wanting. There are examples of them dated 
1661 at St. Margaret's, Westminster. 

All rules have exceptions, and there is one other form 
of seventeenth century communion cup that must be 
mentioned. A fine example of this is at Ashby-de-la- 



202 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. 



[CHAP. IX. 



Zouche, an engraving of which is given from an original 
drawing furnished by the kindness of the vicar. It 




No. 11.— COMMUNION CUP (1676) AT ASHBY-DE-LA-ZOUCHE. 



was given in 1676 and resembles in general form, an 
undated and not so highly ornamented cup used in 
Lambeth Palace chapel. Somewhat similar ones dated 



chap, ix.] CHALICES OF EXCEPTIONAL FORM. 



203 



1637, are at St. Mary's, Lambeth. Other cups of 
exceptional form are occasionally found, some of great 
excellence ; these have, no doubt, been originally, secular 
drinking cups, but since devoted by the piety and 
liberality of their owners to more sacred purposes. 
A very ancient one is at Gatcombe in the Isle of Wight, 
so ancient that an engraving of it must be given, as one 




No. 12.— CUP (1460) TJSED AS a chalice at gatcombe, isle of wight. 



of the earliest known specimens of English plate. It 
bears the hall-mark of the year 1460, but whether it is 
all of that date, or has undergone some subsequent 
alteration, is perhaps open to question. At all events 
it is a piece of the highest interest. 

Sir John Maclean notes a very fine hanap of this kind, 
dated 1576, at St. Mabyn's, Cornwall. It is some 
13 inches high, and has a cover surmounted by a boy 



204 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. is. 

nude holding a shield, both bowl and cover engraved in 
arabesque style, with birds and foliage. There is another 
good one at Watford in Hertfordshire, of the year 1561. 
Kensington parish church has a tall standing cup of 
1599, the bowl ornamented with escallop shells in bold 
repousse-work : and at Hucknall Torkard is a tall stand- 
ing cup, or hanap, of about 1610, in character much like 
the Edmonds' Cup of the Carpenters' Company, of which 
an engraving is given in the next chapter ; but the 
steeple is in this case wanting, or more probably has 
been broken off. 

It is interesting to find examples, and fine examples 
too, of each successive fashion of secular drinking cup 
amongst the ancient possessions of our parish churches. 
It may, perhaps, be thought by some at the present day 
inappropriate to use such vessels for the sacred purposes 
to which their owners had intended to dedicate them, 
but surely they should be carefully treasured and pre- 
served instead of exchanged, as they too often are, for 
artieles of modern design that can not be thought of 
without a shudder of horror. Inferior as they may be, 
from an ecclesiastical point of view, to such models of 
mediaeval art as the chalices at Nettlecombe or at Oxford, 
they have an interest and a value of their own that can 
not attach to the brand new vessels that are obtained 
in exchange for them, even if decorated with sham 
jewels and nineteenth century filagree-work. 

Specimens of modern chalices may be seen in use at 
St. Paul's Cathedral, and at Kensington parish church, 
to mention places that are easily accessible, and these 
may be usefully compared with the engravings given in 
this volume by those who are interested in such matters. 

Perhaps the most beautiful of all such cups is one at 
Cirencester, that may, in all probability, have been made 



chap, ix.] CHALICES OF EXCEPTIONAL POEM. 



205 



for the unfortunate Queen Anne Boleyn. An engraving 
of this is given (No. 13). It was made in 1535, but it 




No. 13.— CUP (1535), WITH COYER SURMOUNTED BY THE BOLEYN BADGE/ 
USED AS A CHALICE AT CIRENCESTER. 



is not known at what time it came into the possession of 
the churchwardens of Cirencester. It is not improbable 



* The Boleyn badge was a 
crowned falcon bearing a sceptre in 
the dexter claw and having a mount 
of lilies growing in front of its 
breast. The above engraving gives 
the lilies rather too much in profile 



to be intelligible without explana- 
tion, and makes the sceptre, the 
upper portion of which is now 
broken of£ in the case of the cup 
at Cirencester, too like a dagger. 



206 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. ix. 

that it was one of the royal New Year's Day presents, 
made by her daughter Queen Elizabeth, after the fashion 
of those days, to her physician, Dr. Richard Master, to* 
whom the lands of the Abbey of Cirencester were granted 
in 1565, and by him given to the parish in which, for 
the future, he and his family made their home. 

At the opposite end of the scale comes an ordinary 
two-handled fluted porringer, which made in 1708, has 
done duty as a chalice at a village church in Gloucester- 
shire ever since. 

At the commencement of the eighteenth century, cups 
were made very upright, much like those of 1660 at 
Westminster Abbey, but narrower and straighter, and 
always perfectly plain. The paten of the seventeenth 
century was not fitted to the cup, but was a plain 
circular salver on a central circular conical foot like the 
stem of the rudest of the communion cups, and that of 
the eighteenth was a plain plate. In fact, everything may 
be found from a plain but solid plate, about the size 
and shape of a dinner-plate, to a small domestic waiter, 
standing on the three usual small feet, and made of 
plated metal. After this, nothing further remains to 
say, no attention was paid to art in ecclesiastical matters, 
and it can only be said that the church plate was well 
suited to the churches of the period. Fortunately, 
churches were in most cases still possessed of sor^e 
better plate acquired at an earlier period, and well would 
it be if fewer Elizabethan communion cups were seen in 
the windows of the modern silversmith. Many, if not 
most of them, are made of the very same silver as the 
more ancient chalice which they replaced, a vessel that 
had, perchance, belonged to its parish from time imme- 
morial. It is to be feared that they are constantly parted 
with for the mere price of the silver, by those who are in 



chap, ix.] ELIZABETHAN COMMUNION FLAGONS. 207 

ignorance, or are regardless, of the curious historical asso- 
ciations which surround these ancient and interesting 

relics. 



ELAGONS. 

The earliest of these are of the reign of Elizabeth, and, 
succeeding as they did the phials or cruets of earlier 
days, one of which was for wine and the other for water, 
they are usually found in pairs, although a single vessel 
of the kind would have been all that was actually 
necessary, even to bring to the church the larger quantity 
of wine that was now used. The earliest form is that of 
a pair at Cirencester church (see No. 14), which were 
made in 1576, and this pattern of flagon was used till 
about 1615. Those at St. George's Chapel, Windsor, 
are of 1613. Several have been found of intermediate 
dates ; a pair at St. Margaret's, Westminster, are of 
1583, and at Eendcomb in Gloucestershire there are 
flagons of the same shape ornamented round the bowls 
with engraved belts of the usual Elizabethan communion 
cup pattern. These are of the year 1592. 

They were probably not so invariably made of silver 
as were chalices. The churchwardens of Wing, co. Bucks, 
are found, in 1576, paying " for a tynne wyne bottell for 
the churche, xviijd," and in 1605 the authorities of 
Leverton ijs. vid. " for a puter communion pott." 

The word "pott" will remind us of the Canons of 
1603, by which (Canon 20) the wine was required to be 
brought to the communion table in " a clean and sweet 
standing pot or stoup of pewter if not of purer metal." 

From this time the " round-bellied " flagons, as they 
are called in an MS. inventory of the plate of St. 
George's Chapel, disappear, and the usual tankard 
pattern comes in which has ever since been used and is 



208 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE, 



[CHAP. IX. 



so familiar. The earliest tankard known to the writer 
is a plain one of the year 1618 belonging to Gray's Inn 




T.HOEBS . 
No. 14. — COMMUNION FLAGON (1576) AT CIRENCESTER. 



Chapel, though it is quickly followed by a beautiful 
specimen ornamented all over with belts and scrolls of 
strap-work, still the property of the parish of Kensington, 
and made in 1619. Later than this, and to the present 



chap, ix.] ALMS DISHES. 209 

clay, they are all of the shape and character of the pewter 
example shown on page 201, which is of 1640 or there- 
abouts. Very occasionally exceptions occur as in the 
case of those at Canterbury Cathedral, which are of a jug 
shape with swelling bowls on short stems or feet, and 
have spouts, their lids being surmounted by crosses. 
They are ornamented with flat applique silver ornamen- 
tation of the kind sometimes called by amateurs " cut 
card work/' for want of a better name, and are of the 
year 1664. 

The word " flagon" seems to have been always ap- 
propriated to a vessel intended to hold wine, and has 
therefore been continued to these communion vessels 
which would otherwise be more appropriately called 
" tankards/' or " pots " as in the language of the Canons 
of 1603. 

The very derivation of the word connects it with 
" flask/' and with the travelling bottles, or costrels, sus- 
pended by a cord or chain, similar to what are now 
called " pilgrims' bottles." In England the wine was 
brought to the communion table in the sort of vessels 
described above, but it is a curious fact that at this very 
day, at All Souls' College, Oxford, the flagons used to 
contain the wine for consecration at the Sacrament, are 
two very ancient large silver gilt flasks or pilgrim's 
bottles, suspended by chains to which the stoppers are 
attached. It is said that they were spared at the 
Keformation, as having nothing popish about them. 
They are of foreign, and, from the goldsmith's marks, 
almost certainly of French workmanship, their precise 
date is unknown, but from their general character and 
particularly that of their stoppers, they are probably of 
the beginning of the sixteenth century. 



210 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. ix. 



ALMS DISHES OE BASINS. 

These in early days may have been of various forms, 
such as ships, but were more often basins. The Ward- 
robe Accounts of 1296 (24 Edward I.) mention " j navis 
argenti cum pede p' elemosV and in the time of 
Edward III. occurs an entry, " una magna olla p' 
elemosinar," but these were probably articles of table 
plate intended for the reception of broken meat to be 
given to the poor. Another such almsdish of gold, 
called the "Tygre," and standing upon a golden bear 
ornamented with rubies and pearls is mentioned in Pal- 
grave's State Inventories at the year 1431 (9 Henry VI.). 
This appears from other entries to have been like that of 
1296, a ship, and was pledged over and over again for 
loans of money. 

Basins in great number, whatever they may have been 
used for, are mentioned in the church inventories of 
1552 and other years, but those that are now found in 
our cathedrals and churches are not ancient ones. A 
large plain gilt almsdish at Lambeth Palace Chapel, of 
the year 1635, is the oldest known to the writer. Next 
to that comes a curious fluted dish bearing punched or- 
namentation in spirals, dated 1639, and belonging to the 
parish of Bermondsey. 

A plain dish, that might serve for either almsdish or 
paten, part of the Gray's Inn Chapel plate, is of the 
same year. Later ones are always plain plates or dishes 
of silver or silver gilt, differing from one another only in 
size, some few having a coat of arms engraved on the 
centre or rim. Hardly any of them are of earlier date 
than 1660, and few as old as that. 

There is a fine large dish of 1684 ornamented with 



chap, ix.] ALTAE CANDLESTICKS. 211 

repousse-work at Westminster Abbey, and a pair of 
plainer ones, of about the same date, engraved with 
the well-known heraldic bearing of a cross between five 
martlets, the coat assigned to Edward the Confessor. 



CANDLESTICKS. 

Those used before the Eeformation were usually in 
pairs, and made of latten, or of copper gilt, often they 
were of silver. Such a pair are found amongst the plate 
of Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond, natural son of 
Henry VIII., in 1527, described as follows : — 

" Pair of candelstikkes chaced wrethen for an aulter, 
weing lxxviij. oz. iii. qts. Another pair, lxiij. oz. 
iij. qts." 

They have all entirely disappeared, those which were 
of intrinsic value in the time of Edward VI., and those 
made of commoner materials were destroyed as "monu- 
ments of superstition " in the early years of Elizabeth. 

Pricket candlesticks, or candlesticks with an upright 
spike upon which to place a large candle, are found 
amongst the plate of our cathedrals, but are seldom older 
than 1660, and still seldomer of any artistic interest. 
Candlesticks such as these are at Canterbury, Gloucester, 
and other places. A very fine pair of chased candlesticks 
of great size on tripod stands and of good workmanship 
belong to "Westminster Abbey, but these are somewhat 
later, being of the year 1684. Those at Exeter Cathedral 
are fluted columns on pedestals, and were made in 1681. 

Good specimens of more modern design, ornamented 
with fluted work, chased flowers, and the like may be 
seen at Durham. These were made in 1767. 



P 2 



CHAPTER X. 

DECOEATIYE AND DOMESTIC PLATE. 

Introduction — Effect of the Wars of the Eoses — Prosperity of the six- 
teenth century — Great destruction of old plate at various times — 
Gold plate — Obsolete vessels — Spoons — Mazers — Salts — Stoneware 
jugs — Ewers, basins and salvers — Standing cups and hanaps— 
Tankards — Smaller cups of various kinds — Plates — Eorks — Monteiths 
— Candlesticks, sconces, etc. — Toilet services — Castors and cruet- 
stands — Tea and coffee services, kettles, etc. — Cake baskets and 
epergnes — Maces. 

Passing from ecclesiastical to secular plate, it needs 
no apology to commence a chapter which is intended to 
form part of a practical guide to the plate collector, with 
the period to which the oldest extant specimens belong. 

It may be said at once that the Wars of the Eoses 
were to secular plate what the events of the next century 
were to the treasures of the church. Domestic plate, of 
an earlier date than the reign of Henry VII. is as scarce 
as pre-reformation church plate. But in prosperous 
Tudor times the goldsmith had once more become a 
dependent of no mean consideration in the households of 
the great. The will of Katherine of Arragon mentions 
her goldsmith, to whom she gives a year's wages, and 
one Kobert Amadal held a similar office in the domestic 
establishment of Cardinal Wolsey. 

By the middle of the reign of Queen Elizabeth the 
wealth and luxury of the country had been on the 
increase for almost a century, and an extract from the 



chap, x.] SIXTEENTH-CENTURY LUXURY. 213 

" Description of England, " by William Harrison, Chap- 
lain to Lord Cobham, in 1586, and prefixed to Holing- 
shed's Chronicles, will supply us with a convenient 
preface. He quaintly comments as follows on the times 
in which he was living : — * 

" Certes in noble men's houses it is not rare to see 
abundance of Arras, rich hangings of tapistrie, silver 
vessell, and so much other plate as may furnish sundrie 
cupbords to the summe often-times of a thousand or two 
thousand pounds at the least, whereby the value of this 
and the rest of their stuffe dooth grow to be almost 
inestimable. Likewise in the houses of knights, gentle- 
men, merchantmen, and some other wealthie citizens, it 
is not geson to behold generallie their great provision of 
tapistrie, Turkie work, pewter, brasse, fine linen, and 
thereto costlie cupbords of plate worth five or six hundred 
or a thousand pounds to be deemed by estimation. But 
as herein all these sorts do far exceed their elders and 
predecessors, and in neatnesse and curiositie the merchant 
all other ; so in time past the costlie furniture stayed 
there, whereas now it is descended yet lower, even unto 
the inferior artificers, and manie farmers who by vertue 
of. their old and not of their new leases have for the 
most part learned also to garnish their cupbords with 
plate, their joined beds with tapestrie and hangings, 
and their tables with carpets and fine naperie, whereby 
the wealthe of our countrie (God be praised therefore 
and give us grace to employ it well) clooth infinitelie 
appeare." 

Plenty of evidence indeed here, of the wealth of plate 
possessed by men of every degree in the sixteenth cen- 
tury, and a little farther on he gives in more detail the 



* Book. II. cap 12. 



214 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. x. 

amount of it that might be found, even amongst what 
are called the lower middle classes. He speaks of the 
exchange of " treene platters into pewter, and wodden 
spoones into silver or tin," and after stating that in old 
time all sorts of " treene " stuff were so common that a 
man would hardly find four pieces of pewter, of which one 
was usually a salt, in a good farmer's house, whereas there 
was now a fair garnish of pewter in his cupboard, he 
concludes with a list of such a farmer's plate, consisting 
of " a silver salt, a bowle for wine (if not a whole neast), 
and a dozen of spoons to finish up the sute.'' 

It is the plate of the century beginning with the 
reign of Henry VII. and ending thus in 1586, which 
furnishes the modern sideboard with its choicest speci- 
mens ; and comparatively rare as they are, the only 
wonder is that so many have been preserved, when we 
consider the events of subsequent times. 

It is needless to say that the requirements of King or 
Parliament in the following century swept much away, 
but two less obvious causes have wrought the destruc- 
tion of even more than can be laid to the charge of 
Cavalier and Roundhead put together. One of them 
has already been alluded to in detailing the measures 
adopted by William III. to remedy the scarcity of bullion 
so grievously felt at the end of the seventeenth century. 
The premium then offered for hall-marked silver brought 
to the mint was only too tempting, and a vast quantity 
of ancient plate was sacrificed to the cupidity or the 
necessity of its owners in 1697. But scarcely less must 
have been melted down a century afterwards to furnish 
the mere metal required for the immense dinner 
equipages which the altered fashions of the day then 
rendered indispensable. No new supply of silver was 
available, such as that which had once poured in from 



chap, x.] GOLD PLATE. 215 

Spanish America, whence then came the tons of silver 
which were fashioned into dinner services with their 
various appendages by the industry of London silver- 
smiths, from Lamerie to Eundell and Bridge ? It is clear 
that at that time another and perhaps the largest consign- 
ment of old-fashioned and disused plate must have gone 
to the melting-pot, to be returned to its owners in the 
shape of the plates, dishes, forks, and spoons with which 
our houses are even now to a great extent supplied. 
The grand service of plate which graced the royal table 
at the great banquet given by Sir Samuel Fludyer at 
the Mansion House on Lord Mayor's Day, 1761, 
which the King and Queen honoured with their 
presence, was made new for the occasion by Mr. Gilpin, 
the goldsmith, with whom the City exchanged a quantity 
of old plate for the new, and many royal and other 
services still in use were thus provided between that 
time and the end of the century. They were usually of 
silver gilt, and are popularly called " gold services," a 
mistake which suggests a remark as to the very small 
quantity of real gold plate that is now to be seen. 

Only five examples were exhibited amongst the art 
treasures collected at South Kensington in the Loan 
Collection of 1862 — a gold cup and cover of seventeenth 
century work, given by Bishop Hall to Exeter College, 
Oxford ; a cup on baluster stem, given to the Corpora- 
tion of York in 1672; a covered cup of the following 
year, the property of Mr. J. W. Walrond ; a chocolate 
cup and cover with one handle, found in the lake at 
Knowsley, belonging to the Earl of Derby ; and last in 
date, but not least, a pair of massive ice-pails from 
Blenheim, weighing together no less than 365 ounces, 
the gift of Queen Anne to the great Duke of Marl- 
borough. A small salver of pure gold was noted by 



216 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. x. 

Mr. Octavius Morgan amongst the plate of King 
William IV. This is no doubt still preserved. Besides 
these, there is a double-handled gold cup at Berkeley 
Castle, made by Paul Lamerie in 17 17, a legacy from 
the then Countess of Berkeley to her celebrated daughter, 
Lady Betty Germain. It is of the usual plain Queen 
Anne pattern. 

A racing cup of the same period and shape by 
Benjamin Pyne, a well-known goldsmith, is in existence, 
or was a very few years ago, engraved with a horse 
ridden by a jockey, and underneath the words " Saltby 
Stakes." It bore the hall mark of the year 1710-1. 

The Corporation of Oxford have a solid gold porringer 
with two handles and cover, of the year 1680 ; and 
Lord Tredegar has a gold cup presented to his ancestor, 
Sir Charles Gould, Bart, by the Equitable Assurance 
Society, about 1780. 

It is very possible that a good many other specimens 
of gold plate may exist, but enough has been said to 
prove its extreme rarity at the present day. Formerly 
it was by no means uncommon. Gold plate is frequently 
mentioned in the Wardrobe Accounts, and in the Intro- 
duction to the State Papers of the reign of Henry VIII. , 
printed by order of the Master of the Polls. A banquet 
given by that Monarch is mentioned, at which two cup- 
boards (by which we must understand a sort of side-board 
of many stages), reaching from the floor to the roof, were 
covered with a large and varied assortment of vases all 
of massive gold, silver-gilt dishes of another sort being 
used for the service of the meats. 

An engraving of such a sideboard of five stages, taken 
from a volume published at Dilingen in 1587, descriptive 
of the ceremonies at Prague when the Grand Duke 
Ferdinand of Austria invested the Emperor and the 



chap, x.] THE CUP-BOABD. 217 

Grand Dukes Carl and Ernest with the order of the 
Golden Fleece, was given by the late Mr. W. Fairholt in 
his description of the celebrated Londesborough Collec- 
tion, and is reproduced here (No. 15). That eminent 
antiquary reminds us that the series of receding steps 




i^O. 15. — SIDEBOARD OF 16TH CENTURY. 



not only served for the due display of the plate, but to 
indicate the rank of the person who used it ; persons of 
royal blood alone being allowed to use dressers of five 
"degres" or stages, whilst those of four were appro- 
priated to nobles of the highest rank, and so on down to 
stages of two or but a single step, which were proper 
for knights-bannerets, and unennobled persons of gentle 
descent respectively. 

The engraving is also valuable for the examples it 
presents of many quaint forms of plate then in use, and 
fitly introduces a few words about such obsolete articles 



218 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. x. 

before we go on to those that are still found and can be 
classed under definite heads. 

A conspicuous object is the " nef," or ship, which was 
used in England as well as abroad ; it seems ,to have 
originally been used to contain the articles used by the 
noble at his banquet. The writer knows of no example 
of English workmanship or bearing an English hall-mark, 
but there were a number of beautiful specimens in the 
Londesborough collection of foreign make. 

The large double cups made to shut upon the rims 
of each other, are also noticeable. These too are men- 
tioned occasionally in English inventories, and are called 
"double" or "trussing" cups. The will of a north 
country ecclesiastic proved at York in 1395, describes 
his " ciphum duplicem argenti deaurati vocatum le 
trussyng coppe," and other early examples of them 
occur. The tall tankard at the servitor s feet would in 
those days be called a " can," — a German as much as 
an English word. Like the "nef," the "just" the 
" goddard " and the " voider" have all disappeared, but 
deserve a passing word. 

Of the " justa," says de Laborde, that it was a vase or 
flagon for the table of an invariable size as to capacity, 
but that its form varied. This agrees in general terms 
with the definition of the word as given by Du Cange. 

The " goddard " seems to be derived from the French 
godet, a sort of goblet or cup, often with a cover. Under 
the head of "mazers," a little later, we shall find some 
cups of that description called " goddards," in an account 
of the year 1444. 

The "voyder" was a large dish in which were col- 
lected the broken victuals which were removed from the 
table with a large knife with a broad flat blade called the 
voyder knife, from wider to empty, clear, or make void. 



chap, x.] SPOONS. 219 

Few silver ones remain, but some large brazen voiders 
may still be seen, or dishes which have probably been 
so used, but of the history or use of which nothing is 
known by their present owners. 

" See ye have Voyders ready for to avoyd the Morsels 
that they doe leave on their Trenchours. Then with your 
Trenchour knyfe take of such fragmentes and put them 
in your Voyder and sette them do wne cleane agayne." * 

The student of mediaeval wills and inventories will 
find many other vessels mentioned here and there which 
it is difficult or impossible to identify with any existiug 
forms, but as we are not specially concerned with such 
an enquiry, it is now time to turn to articles that may 
be met with by the amateur and collector of the present 
day. 

SPOONS. 

Our notices of domestic plate must begin with spoons 
by right of seniority, for, says the learned de Laborde,t 
" Les cuillers sont vieilles, je ne dirai pas comme le monde, 
mais certainement autant que la soupe ; " after this we 
shall not be surprised to find that the most ancient piece 
of * English hall-marked plate in existence is a simple 
spoon. 

In early days, when forks were as yet unknown, 
spoons played an even more important part at meals 
than at the present day, and persons of all ranks seem 
to have striven to possess a spoon, if only a single one, 
of silver. Oar ancestors evidently anticipated in their 
way, the view of Professor Wilson's " Shepherd," that 
" a plated spoon is a pitiful imposition," though be it 
said, their alternative would have been honest pewter or 



* Boke of Nurture by Hugh j t Notice des Emaux, etc., par M. 
Bhodes, 1577. I de Laborde, Il e Partie, 238. 



220 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap, x, 

wood ; and no bad substitute either, according to the 
same modern authority who adds : — 

" A wudden ladle • indeed, gents, I'm no sure, but 
it's no sae apt to be stown ; in the second, maist things 
taste weel out 'o wud ; thirdly, there's nae expense in 
keepin 't clean." * 

It would be difficult anytime for the last six hundred 
years to find a man, of however humble station, without 
a spoon or two to bequeath to his widow or his son. 
The wills and inventories of the rich mention them in 
great numbers ; and the Boke of Kervyng, the Babees 
Book, and other curious handbooks of manners and 
etiquette, some of which have lately been reproduced 
by the Early English Text Society, contain many quaint 
directions as to the service and management of the spoon 
at board. 

The former which was printed in 1513, by Wynkyn de 
Worde, perhaps from a MS. of still earlier date, instructs 
the panter as to setting on the salt and trenchoures, and 
proceeds : — " then laye your knyves and set your brede 
one lofe by an other, your spones and your napkyns fayre 
f olden besycle your brede, then cover your brede and 
trenchoures spones and knyves/' 

The Babees Booh of 1475, deals with the polite use of 
the spoons so laid : — 

" And whenne your potage to yow shall be brouhte, 
Take yow sponys and soupe by no way, 
And in youre dysshe leve nat your spone, I pray." 

The Young Children s Book adds to this in 1500 the 
further advice, 

" Ne pleye with spone trenchere ne knyffe." 

The spoons of the thirteenth and two following 

* "Noctes Ambrosianse. XXXI." 



chap, x.] APOSTLES' SPOONS. 22 L 

centuries seem to have had stems terminating in a 
plain knop, or sometimes an acorn : the first mention 
known to us of spoons with the image of the Virgin — 
cum ymaginibus Beatce Maries in fine eorundem — 
occurs in a will of 1446, these were known later as 
" maidenhead " spoons, and are common enough in the 
sixteenth century, but not before. 

The same may be said of Apostles' spoons, which are 
seldom found before 1500, but were very popular for a 
century and a half afterwards. It was an old English 
custom for sponsors at christenings, to present these 
spoons to the children for whom they answered, the 
wealthy giving a complete set, others a smaller number, 
a poor person a single spoon with the figure of the saint 
in honour of whom the child was named, or perhaps the 
patron saint of the donor. 

Mr. Hone in his " Every Day Book,"* gives some 
amusing notices of this laudable custom collected from 
various writers, Ben Jonson, Middleton, and Beaumont 
and Fletcher, amongst the number. Ben Jonson has a 
character in his " Bartholomew Fair," saying " and all 
this for the hope of a couple of apostle-spoons, and a cup 
to eat caudle in." Beaumont and Fletcher likewise in 
the " Noble Gentleman," say : 

' ' I'll be a Gossip. Bewford, 
I have an odd apostle-spoon." 

Mr. Hone notes that in 1666, the usage was on the 
decline, quoting from " the Gossips," a poem by Ship- 
man : — 

" Formerly, when they us'd to troul, 
Gilt bowls of sack, they gave the bowl ; 
Two spoons at least ; an use ill kept ; 
"lis well if now our own be left." 



* Vol. I., 176. 



222 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. x. 

Many of these spoons, which were called apostles' 
spoons from the figures of the apostles they bore on 
their handles, are still to be seen, and they are of con- 
siderable value from their antiquity and comparative 
rarity. Fine specimens have been sold for prices 
varying from £4 to £8 each of late years, and a 
complete set of thirteen is so seldom to be met with, 
that a fine early set of matched spoons would doubtless 
realise a very large sum, perhaps not less than a 
thousand guineas, if put up to auction to-morrow. 
This opinion is borne out by the mention in the 
Quarterly Eeview of April 1876, of the sale some 
twenty years ago, of a set of twelve such spoons 
belonging to a member of the Tichborne family, for a 
sum closely approaching £400. 

Only two sets of thirteen are known to the writer, 
one of them is in the possession of Corpus Christi College, 
Cambridge, and consists of thirteen spoons, one of which 
is supposed to represent St. Paul. These are of the year 
1566-7, with the exception of the St. Paul spoon, which 
is of the year 1515-6. The other set is the property of 
Mr. George Lambert, F.S.A., and represents Our Lord 
and twelve apostles, Matthias taking the place of Judas 
Iscariot. These are somewhat more modern, but they 
are all of one year, 1626, and by the same maker, 
which renders them in their way, of unique interest and 
importance. 

A third set, which forms a complete series of the 
eleven apostles, was secured by the Eev. T. Staniforth at 
the Bernal sale, and is of great value from its antiquity, 
having been made in 1519. That gentleman also pos- 
sesses the most ancient hall-marked apostle-spoon known, 
it being of the year 1493. 

The set of 1626, have been selected for our engraving 



chap, x.] 



APOSTLES' SPOONS. 



223 









^^^T J 






224 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. x. 

(No. 16), owing to the presence of the rare "Master" 
spoon, and the fact of the whole being made by one 
maker at the same time ; a reference to the various 
emblems by which the apostles are here distinguished, 
will facilitate the identification of individual figures 
found in private or public collections. 



L o 



1. St. James the Less, with, a fuller's bat. 

2. St. Bartholomew, with a butcher's knife. 

3. St. Peter, with a key, sometimes a fish. 

4. St. Jude, with a cross, a club or a carpenter's square. 

5. St. James the Greater, with a pilgrim's staff and a gourd, bottle or 

scrip, and sometimes a hat with escallop shell. 

6. St. Philip, with a long staff, sometimes with a cross in the T; in other 

cases a double cross, or a small cross in his hand, or a basket of 
fish. 

7. The Saviour, or " Master," with an orb and cross. 

8. St. John, with a cup (the cup of sorrow). 

9. St. Thomas, with a spear, sometimes he bears a builder's rule. 

10. St. Matthew, with a wallet, sometimes an axe and spear. 

11. St. Matthias, with an axe or halberd. 

12. St. Simon Zelotes, with a long saw. 

13. St. Andrew, with a saltire cross. 

The figure of St. Paul distinguished by a sword, or 
sometimes two swords, is frequently found, St. Jude 
beinp; omitted from the set of twelve to make room for 
him, and St. Luke and St. Mark occasionally replace 
St. Simon and St. Matthew. 

In the Byzantine Manual, James the Less, Jude and 
Matthias are all omitted, their places being taken by St. 
Paul, St. Luke and St. Mark. 

As to the emblems attributed to each, there is not 
much variation to be noted, but the saw is sometimes 
given to Jude as well as to Simon. This is the case 
in the representations of the apostolic college, by 
Agostino Caracci.* As it appeared advisable to give 
the whole of these emblems on a single page, that they 

* Mrs. Jameson's " Legendary Art." 



CHAP. X.] 



APOSTLES' SPOONS. 



225 



might be seen at one view; an illustration is given of 
a group of three other apostle spoons from a set which 




No. 17.— ArOSTLES' srooNS, 16tii century. 



belonged to the late Rev. S. Lysons (No. 17), in order 
that the general shape and character of such spoons. 



226 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [.chap. x. 

their bowls as well as handles, may be clearly under- 
stood. 

The most modern specimen that has come to the 
knowledge of the present writer is one of 1660, and 
belongs to Mr. Staniforth. Mr. Octavius Morgan has 
seen one of as late a date as 1665, bearing the figure of 
St. James. This bears out what was said by Shipman 
in 1666, as to the custom of presenting them at christen- 
ings being then on the wane. 

Before turning to the ordinary domestic spoon, two 
special spoons must be mentioned, and first the corona- 
tion spoon preserved among the regalia at the Tower of 
London. The date of this is said to be early in the 
thirteenth century, but, even if a reproduction of an 
earlier spoon, it was at all events remade, as we have 
seen, for the coronation of King Charles II., the gold- 
smith's account for its fabrication having already been 
given at page 43. The other is the ancient spoon 
given by King Henry VI. together with his boots and 
gloves to the loyal Sir Ealph Pudsey, at whose seat, 
Bolton Hall, that unfortunate monarch concealed him- 
self for some weeks after the battle of Hexham. Of the 
genuineness of this spoon there is no doubt ; the head 
of the handle (See No. 18) is hexagonal, somewhat 
resembling the capital of a Gothic shaft, and on the 
flat top is engraved a single rose, the badge of the king. 
It is of the usual form of ancient spoons, and the marks 
thereon are as follows : inside the bowl is stamped the 
leopard's head, — and all the ancient English spoons 
previous to the Bestoration are so marked ; on the 
back of the stem is stamped with a punch, a small 
heart for maker's mark ; and above that is the annual 
letter also stamped with a punch. This which is a 
Lombardic h stands for the year 1446, which agrees 



CHAP. X.] 



THE PUDSEY SPOON. 



227 



both with the history and the make of the spoon. The 
form of spoons used in England seems to have continued 





No. 18.— THE PTJDSEY SPOOK (1445). 

the same from the middle of the fifteenth century to 
the time of the Kestoration, when a new fashion was 
introduced which completely superseded the more ancient 
pattern. 

Q 2 



228 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. 



[chap. X. 



This ancient model, the baluster and seal-headed end of 
which was usually somewhat more elaborate than appears 
from the engraving of the Pudsey spoon, which is ex- 
ceptionally simple, is shown by No. I. (engraving No. 
19), and spoons of this form, very common from 1585 







1. 2. 3. 

No. 19.— spoons of 16th, 17th, and 18th centukies. 

to about 1620, were made as late as 1659, the date of 
the very latest known to the writer, whilst a specimen 
of the new form (No. 2), is found of the year 1667, 
in Mr. Octavius Morgan's collection. The shape was 
altogether changed. The stem and handle became flat 
and broad at the extremity, which was divided by two 
clefts into three points, slightly turned up, whilst the 
bowl was elongated into a regular oval, and strengthened 



chap, x.] BAT-TAILED SPOONS. 229 

in its construction by a tongue which ran down the 
back. This form of spoon obtained till the reign 
of George I., when a third fashion was introduced. It 
is a curious circumstance, that the first change in form 
occurred at the Eestoration, and the second at the 
accession of the House of Hanover. Did the spoons 
brought over with the plate of the respective courts, 
at these periods, set the new fashion ? 

In the new form, (No. 3), the bowl was more elon- 
gated and oval in form, and the extremity of the handle 
was quite round, turned up at the end, having a high 
sharp ridge down the middle. This form continued to 
be made certainly as late as 1767, but not to the ex- 
clusion of other patterns, for towards the end of the 
reign of George II. another new fashion came into use, 
which has continued to the present time. The bowl 
became more pointed, or egg-shaped, the end of the 
handle was turned down instead of up, and a sharp 
angular shoulder was introduced on either side the stem, 
just above the bowl, whilst the tongue, which extended 
down the back of the bowl, giving it strength, and so 
well known by the name of "the rat's tail," was shortened 
into a drop. The fiddle-headed pattern came into vogue 
in the early part of the present century. 

NOTES OF ANCIENT SPOONS, ARRANGED IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER. 

1. 1259. xii coclearia argenti. (Will of Martin de St. Cross.) — Sarteos 

Society Trans. Wills and Inv.* 

2. 1296. ix coclear' auri, j coclear' argenti inagnu £r coqua pond, xxis 

iijd. — Wardrobe Accounts, 24 Edw. I. 



* Many references are made in 
this chapter to the invaluable col- 
lection of Mortuaries, Wills and 
Inventories published by the 
Surtees Society, under the follow- 
ing titles : — 

Testamenta Eboracensia. Wills 
registered at York. [Test. Ebor.) 



W T ills and Inventories from the 
Registry of the Archdeaconry of 
Richmond. (Rich. Wills). 

Wills and Inventories from the 
Registry of the Diocese of Durham. 
(Wills and lav.) 

These volumes have also supplied 
some of the materials for Chap. IV. 



4. 


1366. 


5. 


1385, 


6. 

7. 


1392. 
1440, 


8. 


1444, 


9. 


1446, 



230 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. x. 

3. 1300. 7 coclear' auri, 8 coclear argenti signata in collo signo 
Parisius scilt de quodam flore glegelli.— Wardrobe Accounts, 
28 Edw. I. 

coclearia nova ultimo facta in Ebor. — Surtees' Society Trans. 
Test. Ebor. 

xxx cocliaria argenti. — Will of Eic. de Eavenser, Archdeacon 
of Lincoln. 

sex coclearia argentea cum acrinsse de auro. — Test. Ebor. 

unum cocliar' argenti cum longo brachio pro viridi zinzebro. 
— Idem. 

xxiiij coclear' argenti de opt.— -Will of Thos. Brygge de 
Salle. — Norwich. Eegistry. 

ij coclearia argentea et deaurata unius sectse cum ymaginibus 
Beatse Marise in fine eorundem. xii coclearia argentea cum 
glandibus in nodis. vii coclearia argentea cum nodis deau- 
ratis.— Surtees Society Trans. Eich. Wills. 

10. 1446. x xs xi coclearia argenti diversorum operum et ponderis. — Inv. 

of Durham Priory. Wills and Inv. 

11. 1459. dim. dos. coclearium arg. cum akehorns. — Test. Ebor. 

12. 1463. xii coclearia argenti operis Paris' de una secta signata cum 

litera fB?. — Idem. 

13. 1487. ij dozen and vi sponys with dyamond poyntes pond xii unc. 

i qua. at 3s. 2d. } vi li. xs. viid. ob. (Inv. of Eobert Morton, 
gent.)— Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 30.064. 

vi coclearia arg. cum lez acornez deaur'. — Test. Ebor. 

sex coclearia cum capitibus puellarum. — Idem. 

a spone and a forke for grene ginger. (Will of Anne Lady 
Scope. ) — Idem. 

xii coclearia argenti slipped in lez stalkes pond, inter se 
xiiij unc. (Will of Thos. Eotherham, Abp. of York.) — Idem. 

12 great spoons with knobs wrought and gilt 24 oz. at 4s. 
41. 16s.; a dozen of spones not gilt 14 oz. at 3s. 2d. ; a little 
spone of gold. — Inv. of Thos. Kebeel. S.L. 

xl doz. sponis, ij dos. gylt sponys. — Lord Mayor's Feast. 
(E. E. Text Soc.) 

6 spoons with owls at the end of the handles. See Appen- 
dix A.— 0. C. C. Oxford. 

ij silv' sponys being in a purse, 1 whrof being a gemewe spone 
and the other a spone with a forke. — Norf. Arch. Soc. Trans. 

6 spoons with balls on the ends of the stems gilt. See Appen- 
dix A.— C. C. C. Oxford. 

spone knopped with the image of our lady. — Bury Wills. 

a spone of golde with a rose and pomegranat 11 oz. qt di. 
(Inv. of Henry Pitzroy, Duke of Eichmond.) — Camden 
Society Trans. 
25. 1542. a longe silver spone (and a longe forke) for sokett, a spone 
with an acorne doble gilt. (Will of Countess of Northum- 
berland.) -Coll. Top. et Gen. 



14. 


1490. 


15. 


1497. 


16. 


1498. 


17. 


1500. 


18. 


1500. 


19. 


1505. 


20. 


1506. 


21. 


1515, 


22. 


1516, 


23. 


1525, 


24. 


1527, 



chap, x.] LIST OE OLD ENGLISH SPOONS, 231 

26. 1546. 3 silver spones with may den heids. — Kich. Wills. 

27. 1558. xii silvr spones wt skallap shells on ther heads, one sily' 

spone kilt wt an accorne on the head. — Idem. 

28. 1560. syxe silver spones of ye maydenheddes. — Idem. 

29. 1560. 4 silver spones with lyons off thends gilt. — Idem. 

30. 1565. Spoons with hexagonal knops. See Appendix A. —Mercers' 

Company. 

31. 1567. \ dosune lyones and \ doss, madine hedes xvi oz., ij doss flat 

ended spones, xxviii oz. — Eich. Wills. 

32. 1567. Thre spones wt knoppes of our ladie, and v wt lyons p'cell 

gilt. — Idem. 

33. 1570. i doss silver spones with maden heades. — Idem. 

34. 1577. vi silver spoones with lyons on the ends of them. — Idem. 

35. 1582. 3 silver spoones with acornes. — Idem. 

36. 1583. xi sylver spones with lyone knopes gilte at the ends. — Wills 

and Inv. 

37. 1588. xi sponnes with maden heads weing xiiij ounces and \ at 4s. 

per ounce, 21. 18s. — Idem. 

38. 1596. six lesser sylver spones with the knobs at th' endes. — Bich. 

Wills. 

39. 1620. a sugar box spoon.— The Unton Inventories. (Berkshire 

Ashmolean Soc.) 



Apostles' Spoons. 

Apostle spoon. See Appendix A. — Eev. T. Staniforth. 

xiij spones with xii appostells. (Will of S r Ralph Shirley.) 

— Stem. Shir, 
eleven apostles' spoons. See Appendix A. — Eev. T. Staniforth. 
xiij spones of Chryst and the xii Apostells, whereof j gilt and 

the rest sylver with mages gylt. — Inv. of Minster Priory in 

Sheppey. 
xii silver spones with xii apostles on heads. — Eich. Wills. 
Apostle spoon. See Appendix A. — W. W. E. Wynne. Esq., 

Peniarth. 
12 Apostles' spoons. See Appendix A. — 0. 0. 0. Cambridge, 
xiiij postle spones. xxv oz. — Idem, 
vi silver spones with postle heads. — Idem, 
one dozen of postell spoones of silver weyng 24 ounces at 4s. 

— Idem, 
a dozen spones with apostles heads xxxv oz. 51. 16s. 8d. — 

Idem, 
my xii silver spones called the xii apostells. — Wills and Inv. 
xii appostell spons, the ends being gilted weing xx ounces at 

4s. 8d. per ounce. — Idem. 
14. 1626. 13 Apostles' spoons. See Appendix A.— -G. Lambert, Esq[., 

F.SA. 



1. 


1493. 


2. 


1517. 


3. 


1519. 


4. 


1527. 


5. 


1555. 


6. 


1555. 


7. 


1566. 


8. 


1567. 


9. 


1570. 


10. 


1580. 


11. 


1582. 


12. 


1587. 


13. 


1588. 



£32 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. x. 

For further notes of apostles' and other spoons now 
in existence, see chronological list in Appendix A. 

MAZERS. 

If spoons are as old as soup, drinking vessels have 
been in use as long as spoons, and from spoons it is 
therefore convenient to pass to the ancient and interest- 
ing wine-bowls that are known as mazers. 

It is easier to say that these were for centuries the 
commonest articles in domestic use, than to give a 
satisfactory derivation of their name, or to define the 
material of which they were made. On the former of 
these points a great deal of learning has been expended, 
so much indeed that it ought to have gone farther than 
it has towards settling the latter. 

Du Cange only ventures to say that mazers were 
(e pretiosiora pocula," adding that opinions differed as to 
what they were made of. First he quotes Somner, who 
supposed that they were wooden vessels and made of 
maple, but he proceeds himself to say that the better 
opinion is that they were the vessels called " myrrhine " 
in classical ages. Other writers are then cited who in 
turn suggest gum, porcelain, shell, metal and lastly onyx 
as the materials of which they were probably fashioned. 
Somner was guided by the fact that the word " maeser " 
signified in the Flemish language an excrescence of 
the maple tree ; and notwithstanding the opinion of 
Du Cange, which was no doubt influenced by the 
authorities of the twelfth and following centuries, in 
which he found these vessels usually described as " de 
murra," "de murro," or by the adjective "murreus," there 
can be no doubt that nothing but wood was in ordinary 
use in mediaeval days for utensils such as these. 

The menders of broken cups in Paris are said by John 



chap, x.] MAZEES. 233 

de Garlandia in the thirteenth century to have worked 
upon cups made of many different kinds of wood, " de 
murris, planis, brucis, de acere, et tremulo," and he 
gives it as the opinion of some that the " murra " was a 
tree mentioned by Lucan — in aicro murrave bibunt. 

In England too " treen " vessels preceded pewter, as 
pewter did silver plate : — 

" Beech made their chests, their beds, their join'd stools; 
Beech made the board, the platters and the bowls." 

Cowley. 

A reference to the older English poets, or to early 
wills and the inventories which are often appended to 
them, will go far to convince us that mazers were merely 
the best sort of wooden bowls, and that these favourite 
drinking vessels were made of the speckled portions of 
the maple tree, from which they derived their name. 

The word " maser " is explained by Skinner, an 
antiquary of the same century and as reliable as 
Somner, to mean a wooden cup, " poculum ligneum, 
a Belg. maeser, tuber ligni aceris ex qua materia 
prsecipue haec pocula confici solebant ; " and to this may 
be added Planta's definition of it, " un neud ou bosse a 
un arbre nomme erable." * 

The same vessel was called in French "madre," 
which, says Cotgrave, is used " of wood whose grain is 
full of crooked and speckled streaks or veins. " 

The German maser is a spot, speck, or the grain 
of wood ; maser holz is veined wood in the same 
language, and maserle } maple w r ood or the maple tree. 
From this source our word mazer is clearly derived. 
In old inventories the word is often turned into an 
adjective ; mazer eus and mazerinus are Latin, and 



Planta. Thresor dij Lang. Bas Alman. 



234 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. 



[CHAP. X. 



meslyn or messilling English forms in which it is found. 
The latter recalls the lines of Chaucer : — 

" They fet him first the swete win, 
And mede eke in a maselin, 
And real spicerie." 

Khime of Sire Thopas, Y. 13, 780. 

So much for the name of these bowls, which seem to 
have been valued in proportion to the beauty of the wood 
of which they were made, the knots and roots of the 
maple being especially prized for their veined and 
mottled grain. As these knots would not be very thick, 
and therefore the bowls made of them shallow, their 
depth was increased by mounting them with the high 
metal rim which is one of their characteristic features. 
This rim answered the further purpose of ornamenting 
and adding to the value of choice specimens of wood, 
and it was frequently of silver or silver-gilt, and bore an 
inscription running round it, Such a mazer is described 
by Spenser : — 

" A mazer y wrought of the maple wood 
Whereon is enchased many a fair sight 
Of bears and tigers that make fierce war." 

Shepherd's Calendar, August. 



That u masere " was a wood of price may also be 
gathered from the old romances, French and English. 
Several of the French are quoted by Du Cange and 
De Laborde, and with these extracts may be read the 
lines from " Syre Gawene and the Carle : " * — 

" The harpe was of masere fyne, 
The pynnys were of gold I wene."— V. 433. 



* These are taken from a valu- 
able notice of mazers, and espe- 
cially of the Scrope bowl at York, 



to be found in the " Transactions of 
the Archaeological Institute " for 
1846. 



CHAP. X.] 



MAZEKS. 



£35 



The Scottish ballad of Gil Morrice * places the silver 
cup and the mazer dish together on the baron's table : — 

" Then up and spake the bauld baron, 
An angry man was hee ; 
He's tain the table wi' his foot, 
Sae has he wi' his knee ; 
Till siller cup and mazer dish 
In flinders he gard flee." 

It may be noted too that in the reign of Edward III., 
the manor of Bilsington Inferior was held by the service 
of presenting three " maple " cups at the king's corona- 
tion. Mr. Hone records that this service was performed 
by Thomas Eider at the coronation of George III., when 
the king, on receiving the maple cups, turned to the 
Mayor of Oxford who stood on his right hand, and, 
having received from him for his tenure of that city a 
gold cup and cover, gave him these three cups in 
return, f 

Whilst the best and most highly prized bowls were 
always of maple, it is quite possible that the term 
" mazer," originally proper to those of maple-wood only, 
was afterwards extended to all bowls of similar form, 
regardless of the materials of which they were made : 
" dudgeon " wood, whatever that may be, occurs in 
more than one English will ; beech has already been 
mentioned, and some have supposed that even if the 
word " mazer" sometimes signified maple, it was more 
properly applied to walnut wood.:); 

Again, the half of a calabash or gourd having a hard 



* Percy's "Keliques,"4thed. Vol. 
III. p. 94. 

t Table Book, p. 616. 

X Parker's "Domestic Architec- 
ture," I. 144, which quotes from 
Nicholas Bollarde's Version of Go- 



defridus super Palladium,MS. Harl. 
116, fo. 158, that from ripe walnuts 
soaked in water in a moist pit, 
"ther shalle growe therof a grett 
stok that we call ' masere.' " 



236 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. x. 

rind was sometimes employed, and Mr. Octavius Morgan 
suggests that the "print" or boss usually found in the 
bottom of mazer bow]s had its origin in the necessity of 
covering with a plate of metal the point where the fibres 
of such gourds were clustered in a knot. The turner's 
art, however, clearly played no inconsiderable part in 
providing drinking- vessels for our forefathers ; and whilst 
the simple " beechen goblets " so dear to the poets have 
perished, a few made of the more valuable kinds of 
wood have been preserved to our own time. 

The elaborate ornamentation found upon some of 
them, and particularly their enamelled bosses or prints 
have suggested a doubt whether they were really 
intended for use as drinking cups, but the numbers in 
which they are found, and their enumeration in all cases 
amongst other domestic utensils for the service of the 
table, would be conclusive evidence on this point, even if 
their use were not often expressly mentioned. 

Such a cup was, "le hanap du Eoy S. Louis dan 
lequel il beuvote, fait cle Maclre avec son couvercle de 
mesme matiere garny d'un pied dargent clore et dedans 
icelui hanap au milieu du fond un email de demy rond 
taille de fleurs-de-lys d'or a champs dazur." * 

The accounts of Stephen de la Fontaine, silversmith 
to the king of France in 1350, include "un hanap de 
madre fin, a tout le couvercle, duquel Ten sert le Eoy 
a table ; " also " madres et caillers pour boire vins 
nouveaux," and other similar entries. 

A will proved at York in 1446 disposes of no less 
than thirty-three "murrae usuales," besides twelve "murrse 
magnse et largae," and two of such importance as to have 
had names assigned to them. These must almost neces- 



* Doublet, p. 344, quoted by Du Cange. 



CHAP. X.] 



MAZEES. 



237 



sarily, judging by their description and number, have 
been household requisites. Others bore inscriptions which 
of themselves prove, if proof were needed, that they were 
intended for wine cups. Such a mazer is the well-known 
specimen in the possession of Evelyn Philip Shirley, Esq., 
of Eatington, which bears the legend : 

hi ttye name of t^e Crimtu 
dPtlle tlje itup anb ttrinfce to nu. 

This cup is of polished maple, and is said to be of the 




No. 20.— MAZER (TEMP. RICH. II.). 



time of Eichard II. It is figured in Parker's " Domestic 
Architecture of the Middle Ages/' and the annexed 
engraving of it is taken by permission of Mr. Parker 
from the same wood-block. 

In more than one country church a mazer now 
serves as an alms-dish, but perhaps even these were 
originally acquired for festive purposes. To the de- 
scription of one that was amongst the church goods of 
St. Saviour's, South wark, in 1552, it is added " whiche 



238 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. 



[chap. X. 



maser was geven to the* wardeyns when they mete to 
drynk in."* 

The list, long as it is, which is appended to this section, 
has been carefully selected from notes of a much larger 
number of English mazers, with the view of indicating 
their antiquity, their variety, and value, the domestic 
purpose they served and the period at which they fell 
out of use.f 

Turning meanwhile to extant specimens that we may 
see for ourselves what manner of vessels these ancient 
bowls were*, it is found that within certain limits they 
are all very much alike. They are of two kinds, large 
bowls holding half-a-gallon or more, on feet, and smaller 
bowls about six or seven inches across, these are with or 
without feet as the case may be. 

The earliest known example belongs to the hospital at 
Harbledown near Canterbury, and is thought to be of the 
time of Edward I. It has no stem, rim or mounting, 
but within it is a large silver-gilt medallion, bearing the 
figure of Guy, Earl of Warwick. 

Next to this venerable relic, precedence must be given 
to the so-called " Scrope " mazer at York, which is a fine 
specimen of the larger sort, and, more than this, has 
supplied us with important evidence as to the course of 
the date-letters used in that city. 

By the kindness of the Eoyal Archl. Institute, in whose 
transactions for the year 1846 an interesting account 
of it by Mr. Eobert Davies is given, we are enabled to 



* Mr. J. B. Daniel Tyssen's 
"Surrey Church Goods," temp. 
Edw. VI. 

f An interesting catalogue of 
foreign instances, extending from 
the year 1080 down to about 1600, 



and taken from romances, royal 
accounts and other sources, is given 
by de Laborde, under the title 
"madre" in his glossary, which 
has been before referred to, (page- 
2191 



CHAP. X.] 



MAZEES. 



239 



give an engraving of the cup and its curious inscription. 
In an inventory of 1465, it is thus described :— 

"Unus ciphus magnus de murro cuni ligatura plana ex argento 
deaurato, qui vero ciphus indulgentialis digno nomine censetur et hac 
de causa: — Beatee quidein memorise dominus Eichardus Scrop, quondam 
archiepiscopus Ebor., vere poenitentibus et confessis qui si de hoc cipho 
sobrie tamen cum moderamine et non excessive, nee ad voluntatem, 
mente pura potaverint, quadraginta dies indulgentne contulit gratiose. 
Eadem enim murra appret. xls. Quam quidem murrain seu ciphum 
Agnes Wyman, olim uxor Henrici Wyman, quondam majoris civitatis 
Ebor., fraternitati Corporis Christi obtulit quam devote, cujus anima pace 
requiescat perpetua. Amen." — (Erom a list of jewels belonging to the 
Guild of Corpus Christi. Lansd. MBS., CCCCin. fo. 1). 




WSmitLiti 



* M0, ^M^f (mopiai onto fig 



No. 21.— THE SCROPE MAZER (CIRCA 1413) AT YORK MINSTER, AND 
INSCRIPTION ON THE BAND. 

The conclusion arrived at as to its probable history 
seems to be shortly this, that, presented originally to the 
Corpus Christi guild at York by one Agnes Wyman, 
who died in 1413, and consecrated by Abp. Scrope, as 
suggested by the inscription it bears, it passed from 



240 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. x. 

that guild, on its dissolution in 1546, or later, to the 
Company of Cordwainers, with whom it remained till, on 
their dissolution in turn in the present century, it passed 
into the hands of the then master of the company, and 
by him was placed in the custody of the dean and chapter 
of York, its present owners. 

It is suggested that possibly the plate on the foot, 
recording the names of the searchers and beadle of the 
company in 1622, denotes the date at which it came 
into the possession of the Cordwainers. However this 
may be, the tradition that it was presented to the Cord- 
wainers by Abp. Scrope himself can hardly stand in 
the face of such identification of the cup as the one 
originally belonging to the C. C. Guild. 

The successive repairs of the silver mounts of this 
ancient cup bear not only the goldsmiths' date-letters, 
but the dates themselves, and have afforded important 
proof of the course of the alphabets anciently used in 
York. 

The finest, perhaps, of the larger bowls is one at 
Armourers' Hall, London. It is nearly a foot in diameter, 
and of considerable depth, the rim and foot are of silver- 
gilt and are united to each other by vertical bands, all 
the metal-work being covered with inscriptions, from 
which it appears that it was repaired in 1579, the year 
of its hall-mark, though the bowl itself is older, having 
been presented by Everard Frere, the first master of the 
Armourers' Company, after its incorporation in 1453. 
Within the bowl are the arms of the Company, St. 
George and the Dragon, and a cross within a wreath. 
Another large mazer was exhibited by Eev. G. W. 
Braikenridge in 1862. This is known as "the Tokerus 
bowl," and is 9| inches in diameter, and 7f inches high. 
It is inscribed in Lombardic letters, " ^ Be yow mere 



ohap. x.] MAZERS. 241 

and glade and soo the Masters Tokerus do byde" — an 
invitation to drink which has no doubt often been 
accepted. The words are divided by an ape, a dog, a 
pig, a stag, a huntsman, fruit or flower. The mount of 
the bowl is of the year 1554, but as usual the bowl itself 
seems older, whilst the foot bears the hall-marks proper 
for 1571. 

There is a third with silver-gilt rim and foot, less 
elaborately ornamented but far older than the mount of 
the last, at All Souls' College, Oxford: on the boss there 
is a coat of arms in enamel, and the initials @ M. 



Ko. 22. — MAZER (CIRCA 1450) AT ALL SOULS' COLL., OXFORD. 

This mazer is of the middle of the fifteenth century, as 
also are a pair of plainer bowls, at the same College, of 
one of which an engraving is given (No. 22). These are 
about 6 inches in diameter, and the plain gilt mounts 
which extend down, inside as well as outside, 1^ inch 
from the brim, seem to have been added to give them 
greater depth. 

This College is the fortunate owner of a set of mazers, 
of which these form a portion, probably part of the plate 
given to it by Archbishop Chichele in 1442, and of 
unique interest. Besides the mazers already mentioned, 
there is a small but beautiful bowl of light pale-yellowish 
wood with a cover, the knop or handle of which is a 
projecting ornament of silver-gilt, having a pale ruby 



242 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. 



[chap , 



X. 



polished but uncut set in the top; four pearls have 
originally been fixed on wires projecting from the setting 
of the ruby, but of these only two remain, and it is 
curious to note that there were no more than two left at 
the date of an inventory made in the time of Warden 
Doveden, circa 1583. 

The same style of ornament is found on nearly all of 
the extant mazers of that period, but some of them bear 
inscriptions on the band left plain in the above engraving. 
One of a pair amongst the ancient plate of the Iron- 
mongers' Company (No. 23), bears a Latin inscription 
from Luke i. verses 28 and 42, in old Gothic letters : — 



fiflavta . gra . plena . fcn£ . tecum . finufctcta . tu ♦ tit 
ntulteriu' . c . ftnufcft'ctas . fvuettts'. 




No. 23. — MAZER (CIRCA 1450) AT IRONMONGERS' HALL, LONDON. 



The other has no inscription. They are of about the 
same size and date as the others. Somewhat similar 
specimens are at Oriel College, Oxford, and in the pos- 
session of A. W. Franks, Esq. ; the last-mentioned mazer is 
from the collection of the late Mr. Albert Way, the former 
given to the college by Bishop Carpenter, circa 1470. 
The Oriel mazer is described minutely in the " Archae- 
ological Journal," xi. 354, Shaw's "Ancient Furniture," 
and Skelton's " Oxonia Antiqua Eestaurata," to which 



CHAP. X.] 



MAZERS. 



243 



the reader is referred, but a new and beautiful woodcut 
(No. 24) of it, prepared by the late Mr. Albert Way, 
though unhappily never put into use, owing to his 
lamented death, has now been placed at the author's 
disposal by the kindness of the Council of the Eoyal 
Archaeological Institute, and is perhaps the best illus- 
tration of any one of these interesting bowls that has 
ever been produced. This mazer is of about the date of 




Fo. 24. — MAZER (OIKCA 1470) AT ORIEL COLLEGE, OXFORD. 



its gift to the College, and it is somewhat larger than 
the smaller pair at All Souls', being as much as 8 inches 
across, and 2 J inches in depth. The inscription upon it 
is in Gothic characters : — 

"Viv raaone Mbn$ now qttotf petit atra botuptas 
JHc caro casta tfatuv Ijte lutcjue suppefcttatur." 

It should be remarked that with the end of the 
fifteenth century we come to the end of Gothic lettering 
of this description, which gives place to the sort of 

R 2 



244 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. 



[chap. X. 



nondescript capitals that are found on the Narford 
mazer and other articles of the same date. 

A somewhat similar mazer of the next century is at 
Narford Hall, Norfolk, and was engraved many years 
since in " Archseologia." * It has a silver-gilt rim with 
inscription, as follows : ciphus refecto.ru roffensts 

PER FRATREM ROBERT!} M PECHAM. Of part of this rim 

and inscription an engraving is given of the full size, 
which may be of use in identifying lettering of the 
period upon other specimens, for the hall-mark fixes the 
date of this interesting bowl as of the year 1532. It has 




No. 25.— MAZER (1532) AT NARFORD HALL, CO. NORFOLK, PART OF ENGRAVED 

BAND, FULL SIZE. 



an enamelled boss bearing a man's head with flowers in 
green and red, and s. benet inscribed round the border. 
A mazer, very like the last, is in the collection of 
Professor A. H. Church. The inscription on it is 
taken from Job xix. 21, Vulgate version : miserimini * 

MEI ' MISERIMINI * MEI * SALTEM * V0S * AMICI * MEI. 

Another sixteenth -century mazer is of somewhat dif- 
ferent fashion, being a very small bowl on a high foot 
ornamented with Gothic work : one is found in the All 
Souls' College series. It is of the year 1529 ; and its 
chief interest is that it bears the name of " E. Doveden 
Custos ; . 1571," scratched on the inside of the foot with a 



* Yol. xxiii., 392. 



CHAP. X.] 



GEEMAN MAZEES. 



245 



pointed instrument, apparently by the warden's own 
hand, for it corresponds with his signature as appended 
to an inventory of a few years later, which has already 
been mentioned. 

A notice of mazer bowls would be incomplete without 
some reference to another form of wooden cup which, 
though of considerable rarity, is represented in several 
English collections. No less than five of these have 
come under the notice of the Society of Antiquaries at 
different times, to whom as well as to Mr. Octavius 
Morgan, we are indebted for the accompanying en- 
gravings. They all appear to be of the fifteenth century, 
or earlier, and from their occurrence in German heraldry, 
it has been thought probable that they are chiefly of 
German and Swiss origin. Cups of this kind appear as 
the arms and crest of the family of Liebenberg of the 
Canton Zurich, in a curious Eoll of Arms published by 
the Society of Antiquaries at Zurich, " Die Wappenrolle 
von Zurich/' which is of the middle of the fourteenth 
century; and in some remarkable German illuminations 
of the early part of the fifteenth century, now preserved 
in the British Museum (Add. MS. 24,189), being illus- 
trations to Mandeville's Travels, a covered cup of the 
kind in question occurs. It stands on a table set out for 
a feast, and is apparently all of one material ; a similar 
cup is held by one of the attendants.* 

The suggestion, then, that they were the German repre- 
sentatives of mazer bowls, like them used for drinking, 
and the smaller ones, for some of them are very small, 
employed in testing or taking assay of the drink, seems 
a very good one, but it is by no means safe to conclude 



* There are some other early Ger- 
man and French notices of them 
given in the "Proceedings of the 



Society of Antiquaries" for June 
20, 1861, from which the above 
have been taken. 



246 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. 



[chap. X. 



that they were not also fashionable in England at the 
same time, and to be included equally amongst the 
English drinking vessels of the period. One such cup 
has been in the possession of the Eodney family for 





No. 26.— SILVEK-GILT CUP, WITH ARMS OF THE EODNEY FAMILY. 



centuries, and bears their arms; another belongs to the 
Duke of Hamilton. Like mazers* too, they lent their 
peculiar form to vessels made of other materials than 
wood, and whilst some of them are of maple, others, 
including the Eodney and Hamilton cups, are of silver* 

gut. 



CHAP. X.] 



GERMAN MAZERS. 



247 



The former is given in the accompanying woodcut 
(No. 26). It is 6^ inches high, and 4-Jr inches in 
diameter at the widest part. It probably, says Mr. 
Morgan, was made for, and belonged to, Sir John Eodney, 
Knt. of Eodney Stoke, who was living in 1512, as the 




No. 27. — SILVER-GILT CUP OF MAZER FASHION, THE PROPERTY OF THE 
DUKE OF HAMILTON. 



arms of the Eodney family, three eagles displayed, are 
engraved on the top of the handle of the cover in a 
style very ancient, and not improbably coeval with the 
make of the cup. 

That of the Duke of Hamilton is of about the same size 
as the last, ot a little smaller, but in the woodcut (No. 27) 



248 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. 



[CHAP. X. 




No. 28.— CUP OF WOOD MOUNTED IN SILVER GILT, DATED 1492. 

(From the Soltykoff Collection.) 




JSTo. 29. — cup of wood mounted in silver gilt. 
(In the Collection of 0. Morgan, Esq.) 



chap, x.] LIST OP OLD ENGLISH MAZERS. 



249 



is drawn on a somewhat larger scale. It has no cover, 
and no ornament save the narrow bands shown. Neither 
of these cups is hall-marked. Other specimens, of both 
of which engravings are here given (Nos. 28 and 29), 
have been exhibited by John Webb, Esq. and Octavius 
Morgan, Esq., but both of these are probably of foreign 
make. The Webb cup was from the Soltykoff Collection. 

NOTES OF ANCIENT MAZERS, ARRANGED IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER. 



1. 1253. 



2. 1296. 



1302. 

1311. 
1337. 



6. 1338. 



7. 1345. 



8. 


1348. 


9. 


1351. 


10. 


1359. 


11. 


1365. 


12. 


1366. 


13. 


1369. 


14. 


1381. 


15. 


1382. 



16. 1391. 



17. 1392. 



18. 1395. 



cupam meani magnam de Mazera. — Will of Will : de la Wych, 

Bp. of Chichester, 
j maser cu coop'clo cum pede et pomelle arg. — Wardrobe Accts. 

24 Edw. I. 
plates "argenti" to fix in a mazer bowl. — Rogers' "History 

of Prices," ii. 568. 
"unum magnum mazerum. — Will of Sir Wm. de Yavasour. 
a mazer cup valued at 6.?. in an inventory of a felon's goods. — 

Eiley's " London Life." 
a hanap of mazer with impression of St. Thomas of Lancaster. 

Sale indenture of Jocalia, 12 Edw. III. 
ciphum meum de muria, unum ciphum parvum meum de 

murro cum pede argenti, unum ciphum de murro cum 

ymagine Sci. Mich, in fundo. — Test. Ebor. 
unum mazerum cum pede argenti. — Idem, 
unum ciphum de murro meliore quern habeo. — Idem, 
unum ciphum murreum cum quadam ymagine de Trinitates 

depicta in fundo. — Idem, 
meliorem ciphum de murro vocatum knopmazer unum ciphum 

de murro cum uno f ounce.* — Idem, 
unum parvum mazereum cum cooperculo de mazar. — Idem, 
parvum mazerinum meum cum circulo deaurato. — Idem, 
les mazers. — Idem, 
one mazer cup bound with silver gilt value 10s., another 

smaller value 5s., stolen from John Erensshe ; goldsmith. — 

Eiley's " London Life." 
viij mazeris argenti ligatis et deauratis, from an indictment for 

housebreaking. — P. R. 0. per W. D. Selby, Esq. 
j ciphum de mazero et j cocliar argenti ad facturam unius 

calicis. — Test. Ebor. 
unum ciphum de mazer cum coopertuia et pede argenti 

deaurati signatum cum diversis Uteris de bees (BB). — Idem. 



* Frownce of a cup, frontineila, 
in modern goldsmith's art the orna- 
ment called " gadrooned" from Fr. 



goderonne — knurling. Cotg., it 
implies a " wrinkle " — Prompt. 
Parvul. — Camden Society. 



250 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. x. 

19. 1395. unus godet de nmrro cum cooperculo murrio. — Idem. 

20. 1396. unum mazerum quern nuper emi de executoribus Domini 

Johannis de Bysshopeston cum uno cooperculo argenteo 
deaurato ligato in summitate ejusdem scripti 

fjcr scr gs Imcjgst a Intre 

tali tljis rcrjjc foitlj obtun sfrgfe. — Idem. 

21. 1399. It m j aut'e petit hanap de mazer ove le cov'cle a guyse dun 

pot steant s r iij peez t garnis darg' d' enorrez pris vi s viijdi. 
It™ j large mazer cont' iij galons liez environ' d'arg endorrez 
enbossez en le founce, itm j g'nt pee endorrez pr la dee 
maser, pois xiiij lb iiij unc. 
It m j maser tour de nutte garnisez d' argent enorrez t coy'ez. — 
Treasury Inv. 1 Hen. IV. 

22. 1400. cum uno cypho de mazer nomine mortuarii mei. — Test. Ebor. 

23. 1400. unum mazer vocatum Spang; meliorem ciphum meum de 

murreo scilicet mazer. These were bequeathed by Sir B. 
le Scrop to his son the Archbishop of York. — Idem. 

24. 1406. unus ciphus masar stans super pedem argenti deauratam 

mobilem portatum super tres leones cum bordura argenti 
deaurata et ymagine Saneti Johannis Baptistee in fundo 
cooperculum borduratum de aquilis argenti deauratis et 
pomellum aimellatum de azuro cum j chapelletto yiridi et 
iiij rosis albis. Will of a Bp. of Durham. — Idem. 

unu' ciphum vocat grete maser qui quondam fuit ciphus p'ris 
mei ad te'minu' vitee suoe.— Coll. Top. et Gen. 

unum mazer flat cum singula liga argenti deauratum ; unum 
mazer cum ymagine Sanctse Katherince vocat Erounce in 
fundo.*— Test. Ebor. 

unam murram quae vocatur cossyn. — Idem. 

unum standyng maser ligatum cum argento. — Idem. 

a standing maser of silver and gilt, uncov'ed, wt J?'armcs of 
England and E'aunce, and wt a poyse write Good Edward, 
weyng xxi ounces p's ]?eunce iij s iij d Sma., lxx s , also ij litil 
masers called Godardes, cov'ed and ano]?er litil maser 
uncov'ed, weyng togydre ij lb. i unc t. di. ]>. unc ij s vi d Sma. 
lxij s ix d .— Inv. of Treasury of Exch. 22 Hen. VI. 

30. 1446. j murra cum pede deaurato vocata Herdewyke cum cooperculo ; 

alia murra larga et magna vocata Abell sine cooperculo ; 
xii murrae magnse et largse cum uno cooperculo quorum iij 
cum pedibus ; xxxiii murrse usuales. — Test. Ebor. 

31. 1452. murrre altse ; murrse bassse. — Idem. 

32. 1453. unum ciphum murreum coopertum vocatum j nott. — Idem. 

33. 1454. unum maser harnasiatum cum argento etdeaur' cum uno rose 

prynte. — Idem. 

34. 1455. unam murram cum uno browne shell. — Idem. 



25. 


1415. 


26. 


1433, 


27. 


1436. 


28. 


1442. 


29. 


1444. 



See note on preceding page. 



35. 


1459, 


36. 


1463, 


37. 


1464, 


38. 


1471. 


39. 


1485, 


40. 


1486, 


41. 


1487. 



42. 


1490. 


43. 


do. 


44. 


do. 


45. 


1496. 


46. 


do. 



chap, x.] LIST OF OLD ENGLISH MAZERS. 251 

unam murrain vocatam Cruurpuldud. — Idem. 

aliam murram coopertam habentem in summitate castellum 
deaur atum . — Idem . 

unam murram sine Frounce. — Idem. 

matri meo unam parvam murram. — Idem. 

my litle mazer. — Idem. 

a mazer the printe of a nemying of Seynt George. — Idem. 

vii lytell masers with duble bonds pond xli unc di at 2s. 4c?. 
iiii 1! xvi s x d 

V masers with sengyll bonds, and an olde blak nutte with a 
coyer, with iij knoppys for coverynges of mazers pond xliiij 
un at 2s. 2d. iiii li xv s iiij d . Inv. of Eobert Morton — Brit. 
Mus. Add. MS., 30,064. 

j mazer shell.' — Test. Ebor. 

a little mazer bounden with silver and gilt, which that I 
bought upon Palme-sondaie in the furst yere of the reign of 
King Edward the iiij th — Idem. 

a grete maser, a standing maser. — Idem. 

unum ciphum yocatum nut de mazer coop. — Idem. 

a mazer with a playne band sylyer and gilt ; a standing nutte 
of maser with a foot of silver and over-gilt wt. a coveryng 
to the same, wt. three ostrich fedders of silver and over- 
gilt. — Idem. 

47. 1497. ij mazer bandes inde factur' unam murram. — Idem. 

48. 1498. a masser wt. the prynt in the bottom. — Idem. 

49. 1499. a standynge maser wt. cover of wode. — Idem. 

50. 1502. j pelvim de meslyn. — Idem. 

51. 1506. a pardon maser, (having round the brim an indulgence of 40 

days to the drinker).— Idem. 

52. 1527. a standyng maser with a cover, the foot gilt; ij greate, and 

ij less mazers with brymmys and rosys in the botome save 
j lacketh a roose. — Inv. of Minster Priory in Shepey. 

53. 1534. a standynge maser wt a coy' and shell wtall weyng xxvi 

unces di. ; Itm one great maser wt a sengle band wt a prynt 
in the bottom gilt wt an ymage of Allmyghti god sittynge 
at the iugement in the myddes of iiij evangelistes weynge 
xlix unces di. ; Itm a masar wt a sengle band wt a prynt 
in the bothom of the passion of saynt Thomas the martir 
and a plate of sylv' and gilte wt an Ape lokynge in an 
vrynall written wt these woordes "this wat' is p'olows" 
weynge xv unc. di. These and many other mazers are 
described in an Invent, of the Guild of the B. V. M. at 
Boston co. Line. — Peacock's " Church Furniture." 

54. 1535. v grete masers with small bonds of sylver and gylt ; iiij 

masers whrof iij of them be with gylt bonds and the fourth 
with a sylver bond dailye occupied xxiiij un. ; ij masers 
with brode bands sylver and gilt and a little maser with a 
fote and a small band sylver and gilt xyiij un. ; ij small 



55. 


1542. 


56. 


1543. 


51. 


1555. 


58. 


1557. 


59. 


1577. 


60. 


1578. 


61. 


1585. 


62. 


1592. 



252 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. x. 

masers with brode bands of sylver and gilt. — Inv. of Maison 

Dieu at Dover, 26 Hen. VIII. 
a silver masser. — Kich Y/ills. 
a masour cuppe and three silver spones, to each of testator's 

two daughters. — Idem. 
ij messilling bassens. — Idem. 
j masser egged about with silver. — Idem, 
one mazer with one edgle of sylver. — Idem, 
ij massers. 

j silvar mazar. — Wills and Inv. 
A maser cuppe 2s. 6d. — Idem. 



THE SALT. 

We now come to what was the principal article of 
domestic plate in English houses of whatever degree. 
The massive salt-cellar which adorned the centre of the 
table, served to indicate the importance of its owner, and 
to divide the lord and his nobler guests from the inferior 
guests and menials, who were entitled to places " below 
the salt " and at the lower ends of the tables only ; and 
it seems rather to have served this purpose than to hold 
salt for the meal, a supply of which was usually placed 
near each person's trencher in a smaller salt-cellar, called 
a " trencher" salt. There are many allusions in the 
poets to the distinction marked by the position of the 
salt amongst the guests, and to the social inferiority 
of "humble cousins who sit beneath the salt/' The 
great salt was, therefore, an object of considerable 
interest, and it was often of great magnificence and of 
curious device. Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March, in 
1380, had such a salt-cellar, "in the shape of a dog ; " 
John Earl of Warrenne's was in the form of an 
"olifaunt" (1347); salt-cellars, enamelled or gilt, 
nearly all with covers, are found on every table. Who- 
ever could afford an article of plate, besides his spoon, 
had it, in those days, in his salt-cellar, even in prefer- 



chap, x.] SALTS. 253 

ence to a silver cup for his own particular use. A 
description of the principal salt of Henry Fitzroy, Duke 
of Kichmond, the natural son of Henry VIIL, taken 
from the inventory made on his death in 1527, gives a 
good idea of those which graced the board of royalty. 
It was "a salte of golde with a blak dragon and v perles 
on the bak, and upon the fote iij course saphirs, iij course 
balaces, xxiij course garnisshing perles, and upon the 
cover of the same salt vij saphirs or glasses, and iiij 
course balaces and xxxij garnishing perles, upon the 
knoppe a white rose with rubyes and a pyn of silver to 
bere the salt going through the dragon and the bace 
made fast to a plate of silver and gilt under the said 
bace weing xxv onz. di." To this may be added that 
one of his small salts was " a little salt of birrall, the 
cover and fote well garnisshed with golde stones and 
perles, sent from my Ld. Cardinelle for a New Yere's 
gift, anno xixmo, with a ruby upon the cover, weing 
vi onz." 

Another, of even less weight but of no less value, was 
" a salte of gold, supposed to be of an unycorn horn, 
welle wrought and sett with perles, and the cover with 
turkasses sent from the king by Mr. Magnus, v onz. di." 

Let the little treatise of 1500 entitled Ffor to 
Serve a Lord, say how the chief salt-cellar should be 
placed : — 

" Thenne here-uppon the boteler or panter shall bring 
forthe his pryncipall salte . . he shall sette the saler in 
the myddys of the tabull accordyng to the place where 
the principall soverain shall sette . . . thenne the 
second e salte att the lower ende . . . then salte selers 
shall be sette uppon the syde-tablys." 

The Bolce of Kervyng too directs that the salt should 
be set on the right side " where your soverayne shall 



254 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. 



[CHAP. X. 



sytte." Furthermore it was not graceful to take the 
salt except with " the clene knyfe," so says the Young 
Children 's Book, in 1500, far less to dip your meat 
into the salt-cellar. The Babees Book is strong upon 
this point, even a generation before (1475) : "the salte 
also touclie not in his salere, with nokyns mete, 




No. 30.— SALT (1518) AT IRONMONGERS' HALL, LONDON. 



but lay it honestly on youre Trenchoure, for that is 
curtesy." 

Omitting for the present the smaller trencher salts, 
there are four patterns of old English salt-cellars, of 
which examples have come clown to our time, and of 
each of them an illustration will be given. First come 
the hour-glass salts of the reigns of Henry VII. and 
Henry VIIL, of which some five or six hall-marked 



chap, x.] STANDING SALTS. 255 

specimens are known to the writer, besides one or two 
undated. 

Amongst the former are three ornamented with Tudor 
roses, one of them made in 1507, given to Christ's 
College, Cambridge, by its foundress, Margaret, Countess 
of Kichmond. The next is at Cotehele and of 1516 ; 
whilst the pair from which our illustration (see No. 30) 
of this class of salt is taken, are of 1518 and 1522, and 
still in the possession of the Iron mongers' Company in 
London. All alike are hexagonal, with raised lobes alter- 
nately ornamented, and only differ in the details of the 
decoration. The salt at Cotehele has beautiful Gothic 
pinnacles around the knop or waist, and two of those at 
Cambridge are similarly but less elaborately ornamented. 
The undated specimens at Cambridge may or may not 
be of English make, and the same may be said of two 
others at Oxford, one at New College and the other 
at Corpus Christi College, both of them of exquisite 
workmanship. These are better known than the rest, 
having been figured in Shaw's " Specimens of Ancient 
Furniture." 

By the middle of the sixteenth century we come to 
the second type, and the earliest of this class again is at 
Corpus College, Oxford. It is a cylindrical standing salt, 
of the year 1554, and, with its cover, is ornamented with 
repousse and engraved work in a pattern formed of three 
principal cartouches with central bosses, the intervals 
filled with foliated scrolls. The cover is surmounted by 
a statuette of a boy with a staff and shield. It w^as 
exhibited in the South Kensington Loan Collection of 
1862, and has been erroneously catalogued at different 
times as of 1613, and of 1594. 

Of the same type, but square instead of cylindrical, is 
the beautiful salt of the year 1569, belonging to the 



256 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. 



[chap. X. 



Vintners' Company. From this the illustration (No. 31) 
is taken, and it is a possession of which its owners are 
justly proud. It is thus described in the catalogue of 




No. 31.— SALT (1569) AT VINTNERS' HALL, LONDON. 



the works of art exhibited at the Hall of the Ironmongers' 
Company some years ago : — 

"A square salt silver gilt with cover. It is 12 inches 
high, and 4J inches square ; on the panels at the sides, 
in bold relief, are four female figures representing 
Virtues, viz.: 1. Justice, with sword and scales; 2. 
Fortitude, holding in her left hand a blazing heart, and 



chap, x.] STANDING SALTS. 257 

in her right a dart ; 3. Temperance, pouring from a 
vessel into a cup ; 4. Chasttiy, with a lamb at her feet ; 
all within landscapes, and at the angles are therm figures. 
The cornice and foot are boldly moulded and richly 
embossed. The whole rests on four sphinxes, crowned ; 
above the arch of each panel is an escallop. The cover 
is surmounted by a female figure, standing on a richly 
embossed vase, a serpent is coiled round her, and she 
holds a shield, whereon are the arms of the Vintners' 
Company." 

Later specimens, both cylindrical, of this fashion of 
salt are in the possession of the Goldsmiths' and the 
Armourers' Company. These cylindrical salts occur 
oftener than the square ones. The example selected 
to represent them (No. 32) is one in the possession of 
the Corporation of Norwich, given by Peter Eeade, who 
died in 1568. It was made by the Norwich goldsmith, 
Peter Peterson, in the preceding year. The drawing is 
after one published some years ago in a volume relating 
to Norwich antiquities, but for want of shading hardly 
gives it a sufficiently rounded form. It is, however, a 
good example of Norwich work, and of this style of 
salt. 

At the very end of the sixteenth century we find a 
circular bell-shaped salt, or spice-box, in three tiers or 
compartments, much in fashion, but only for a few years, 
They are no doubt the " Bell " salts of contemporary 
inventories. " The bell salt of silver with his cover " 
was an item in the will of Sir Thomas Scott, of Scot's 
Hall, which is dated 1594 ; and a Durham will of 1593 
refers to "a white bell salt " as well as " a trencher salt." 
The specimen from which our illustration (No. 33) is 
taken belongs to Christ's Hospital, in London, and is 
fourteen inches high. Its style of ornamentation speaks 



258 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. 



[CHAP. x. 



for itself, and is very representative of its period. The 
two lower compartments form salt-cellars, and the upper 




No. 32.— CYLINDRICAL SALT (1567) IN THE POSSESSION OF THE 
CORPORATION OF NORWICH. 

one serves as a pepper-castor. A second specimen is in 
the collection of Mr. Octavius Morgan, and. a pair, one 
of 1599 and the other of the following year, are, or were, 
in the possession of Sir Gr. Dasent. 



r 

A set of four silver salt-cellars of the 16th century, 
quite plain, but described in the catalogue as 
" matchless." These were the set of four which 
- belonged to the Society of Serjeants' Inn, and were 
| known as the " Old Salts " at the time of the fire of 
I London in 1666. The fifth was a " top salt," which 
was bought by Mrs. Abbot Lawrence, and is now in 
the United States, having been sold in the collection 
of Sir George Dasent in 1875. They are marked with 
the lion passant, but the London hall-mark has "been 
obliterated through the constant cleaning. They 
weigh 33oz. 19dwt., and measure 5^in. across the 
top, the foot being rather smaller, with a contraction 
in the centre. They sold at 87s. per ounce, or a little 
over £138, and something less than they brought in 
Sir George Dasent 's sale. ^ * 



CHAP. X.] 



STANDING SALTS. 



259 




No. 33.— SALT (1607) AT CHRIST'S HOSPITAL, 



s 2 



260 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. x. 

Last of all comes a simple and well-known form of 
salt, which carries us all through the seventeenth 
century, from 1638, the date of one of the earliest known, 
to 1685, when some in the possession of the Worshipful 
Company of Mercers were made, from one of which our 
engraving (No. 34) is taken. Similar ones of intermediate 




No. 34.— OCTAGONAL SALT (1685) AT MEECEES' HALL, LONDON. 

date are amongst the splendid plate of the Clothworkers' 
Company. Some of these salts are circular, others are 
square or octagonal. 

It will have been observed how carefully the earlier 
salts were covered to preserve the cleanliness of the salt, 
and perhaps to prevent the introduction of poison ; in 
these later ones the small projecting arms were for sup- 
porting a napkin with which it now became usual to 
cover the salt cellar with the same object. 

" Trencher " salts are at first triangular or circular, 
with a depression in their upper surface ; of the former 
shape and of simple fashion was a little salt of 1629, 



After the Milbank collection had been sold, there 
was offered as the property of a gentleman an Eliza- 
bethan baronial salt-cellar and cover, of silver, 
cylindrical in form, the centre beautifully chased 
with lions' masks in shields, flowers and bosses in 
flat bands, the foot and border chased with fruits and 
bands, the lid similar and surmounted with a three- 
handled vase supporting a man in armour holding a 
spear and shield, on three feet formed as heads of 
animals. The salt-cellar and cover bear the Exeter 
hall-mark and maker's name, Eston, with the letter 
G.lt is 8^in. high by 3^in. wide, weighing 9oz. lOdwt. 
This beautiful little piece was received with a round 
of applause, followed by a bid of 200 guineas, im- 
mediately met with one of 400, then 500, and after- 
wards by fifties it rose to 600, when, after advancing 
by tens, the biddings stopped at £670, and the hammer 
fell ; but though the applause was again enthusiastic 
no name of a buyer was given, so that it is presumable 
it did not reach the reserve price. 

From another property were sold a pair of flat 
shaped silver gilt cups and covers, finely chased, the 
covers surmounted with pomegranates, German work, 
1695, from Burghley-house— £135 (C. Davis) ; a fine 
oval silver pilt two-handled dish, with open work 
border, and the centre with Lot and his daughters in 
relief, hall-mark 1673— £365 (C. Davis). 



debts are proved Dat*d this 21st day of February 1890 

WILD and WILD 10% Ironmonger Lane Cheapside Sol 
citors to the above named Liquidator 

fl N tho Matter of The Companies Act 1862 and Ti 
JL the Matter of The CASTINGS IMPROVEMENT SYNDICAT 
Limited Notice is hereto given that, the CREDITORS of the abov 
named Company are required on or before the 14th day of April 189 
to sen i their names and addresses and the particulars of t -eir debt 
or claims and the names and aldresses of their Solicitors if any t 
Roderick Mackay of 3 Lofchbury in the City of London Chartered Ac 
coontant the Liquidator of the said Company and if so required b 
notice in writing from the said Liquidator are by their Solicitors U 
come in and prove their said debts or claims at such time and plac! 
as «haU t'e specified in such notice or in default thereof they will b 
excluded from the benefit of any distribution mada before such debt 
are proved Dated this 20th day of February 1890 

MUNNS & LONGDEN 8 Old Jewry London Solicitors to th, 
above named Liquidator 

IN the HIGH COURT of JUSTICE Chancer) 
Division Mr. Justice Chitty In the matter of the Companie* 
Acts 1862 and 1867 and In the matter of The MOLDACOl 
ROYALTIES TRUST Limited The CREDITORS of the abovt 
named Company are required on or before the 20th day of Marc 11 
1890 to send their names and addresses and the particulars oftheij 
debts or claims and b* e names and addresses of their solicitors (if anyl 
to Edward Llewellyn Ernest of No 31 Queen Victoria Street in tM 
City of London the Official Liquidator of tbe said Company and if sq 
required by notice in writing from the said Official Liquidator are bS 
their Solicitors to come in and prove their said debts or claims at tha 
Chambers of Mr. Justice Ohitty at the Royal Courts of Justice Stramj 
London at such time as shall be specified in such notice or in default 
thereof they will be excluded from the benefit of any distribute 
made before such debts are proved Tuesday the 1st day of April 1 

at, 12 O'clock at. nnnn »t *V,c *o!A nu u z • . - 



chap, x.] TEENCHEE SALTS. 261 

bearing for inscription " John Lane, Vintner, at ye Mer- 
maide, near Charing Crosse/' which was sold in 1869 in 
the Hopkinson collection for £20 106'., and re-sold for 
no less a sum than £30 in the Dasent sale, only six years 
afterwards. Small circular salts of 1667 are in use at 
Cotehele, and a set of the year 1683 are in the possession 
of the Innholders' Company. 





1629. 1667. 

No. 35. — TRENCHER SALTS. 



These, and such as these, obtained till the reign of 
George II., when a small circular salt standing upon 
three feet came in, which gave way in its turn to the 
boat-shaped pattern, with pointed ends sometimes ter- 
minating in handles, so common at the end of the last 
century, when everything was made oval, with pointed 
ends, that could by any possibility at all be got into that 
shape. 

STONEWAEE JUGS. 

There are few collectors who have not secured for 
their cabinets one or more of the mottled stone-ware jugs, 
with silver cover and neck-mounts, and sometimes also 
silver foot-band, which were in vogue for the greater part 
of the sixteenth century. The jugs themselves were 
imported from Germany, probably from Cologne, and 
were mounted by the English silversmiths. The earliest 
notices of them occur about 1530 or 1540, and from 
that time to the end of the century they were commoi 
enough ; but they seem then to have gone out of fashion, 
for it would be difficult to find a single specimen 
with a seventeenth-century hall-mark. As regards 



2(52 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. 



[CHAP. X. 



ornamentation they are all very much alike ; the well- 
known Elizabethan interlaced fillets, with running 
foliage, are often engraved around the neck-bands of 
the earlier ones, whilst the later specimens are more 
often decorated with repousse work. 




No. 36. — STONEWARE JUG, MOUNTED IN SILVER GILT (1562), AT 
VINTNERS' HALL, LONDON. 

An engraving is given of one of 1562, which shows 
Elizabethan engraving on the mount, and also some 
repousse work on the lid. A description of one of those 
exhibited at Kensington in 1862 will give a good idea 
of all of them :- — 

"A stoneware jug of mottled brown glaze, mounted 



chap, x.] STONEWAEE JUGS. 263 

in silver gilt as a tankard, engraved neck-band of inter- 
laced straps ; the cover repousse with lions' heads and 
fruit, surmounted by a flat-rayed button and small 
baluster, purchase formed of two acorns ; round the foot 
is a border of upright strawberry leaves and a gadrooned 
edge." This would describe a specimen of about 1565; and 
later ones would differ from it only in the engraving of 
the neck-band being replaced by cartouches of lions' heads, 
marks, fruit and flowers, or the like, in repousse work. 

Some mounts, bearing ancient Exeter goldsmiths' 
marks, have been already mentioned in an earlier chapter. 
(See page 111.) 

The following notes sufficiently indicate the period 
during which they are found : — 

1. 1535. A stone pot garnished with silver and gilte with a cover of 

silver and gylte. — Inv. of the Maison Dieu, Dover. 

2. 1546. Lid and mount of jug, button enamelled with Parr arms; 

bought at Strawberry Hill sale. — J. 0. Dent, esq. 

3. 1551. Stoneware jug with cover engraved with musical instruments. 

— Messrs. Garrards. 

4. 1557. iij stone drinking potts covered with silver ij oz. ixs iiijd. 

5. 1562. Stoneware jug, cover engraved in Elizabethan fashion ; see 

engraving No. 36. — Vintners' Company. 

6. 1567. Jug with handle and cover engraved with Elizabethan strap- 

work. — Armourers' Company. 

7. 1570. 2 ston pottes, w th covers and bands doble gilt and one pot 

covered with silv', vili xiijs iiijd.— Eich. Wills. 

8. 1572. A stone cupp garnished with sylver and gylte. — Inv. of Thomas 

Lee, of Marton, co. Bucks. 
1 stone pott garnished with silver pcell gilt. — Rich. Wills. 
Twoo stone pottes layde with silver gylte. — Wills and Inv. 
ij stone potts bounden with silver doble gilt. — Eich. Wills. 
My stone pot with a cover of sylver. — Wills and Inv. 
One stone pott garnished with silver, w th a cover and gilt. — 

Eich. Wills, 
ij stone pottes with silver covers gilte and imboste. 
One stone jugge double gilted Hi 10s; one stone jugge covered 

with silver, Hi 10s. — Wills and Inv. 

16. 1596. ij stone jugges garnished with silver and double gylted. — 

Wills and Inv. 

17. do, ij stone juggs. 



9. 


1574. 


10. 


1577. 


11. 


1578. 


12. 


1580. 


13. 


do. 


14. 


1585. 


15. 


1588. 



264 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. x. 

EWEKS, BASINS, AND SALVERS. 

These occur in every old will and inventory of any 
importance, and being articles in daily use at every table, 
must have been very common indeed, making up as they 
did for the want of any such utensil as the modern fork. 
They were handed before and after every meal and after 
every course, the hands being held over the basin whilst 
water, hot, cold or scented, was poured over them from 
the ewer by the server. In the houses of the great they 
were of costly material, and fine naperie for use with 
them is found in abundance amongst the household goods 
of the middle ages. 

The Boke of Kervyng and the Babees Book do not 
omit to regulate the serving of the ewer and basin. 

The Boke of Kervyng directs the attendant to see 
before meat that " thyn ewery be arayed with basyns 
and ewers and water hote and colde, andse ye have nap- 
kyns . . . " and the manner in which they should be 
used at the end of the meal is laid down in the Babees 
Book : — ■ 

Thanne somme of yow for water owe to goo 

Soinme holde the clothe, somme poure uppon his hande. 

The little manual entitled Ffor to serve a Lord 
directs this service before and after meat in 1500, and 
even in 1577 the Boke of Nurture mentions "a basen 
ewer and to well to aray your eupbord." 

We must remember that sometimes more than one 
person ate off the same dish, and that with the fingers 
aided only with a knife or spoon as the case required ; 
and even if a rule prescribed in the Boke of Nurture 
were never transgressed, — 

Sett never on fysche nor flesche beest nor fowle trewly 
More than ij fyngurs and a thombe for that is curtesie 



chap, x.] EWERS, BASINS, AND SALVERS. 265 

still we shall agree with de Laborde in his remark on 
ancient basins, "que Tabsence de fourchette et l'habitude de 
manger a deux dans la meme ecuelle et a plusieurs dans 
le meme plat, rendaient necessaire la proprete des mains, 
pour les autres avant le diner, pour soi-meme apres." 

With the appearance of forks the use of the basin was 
to a great extent discontinued, and most of the basins 
themselves have disappeared, perhaps to be made into 
forks. It may well be that some of the forks now in use 
were made out of the ewers and basins which their 
invention rendered superfluous. 

The few now remaining are used for sideboard decora- 
tion, or for handing rose water after dinner, and the 
most ancient of them are only of the middle or the 
later part of the sixteenth century. They were then 
ornamented with beautiful repousse strap-work inter- 
laced and enclosing boldly treated flowers or marine 
monsters, and have raised bosses, or " prints," in the 
centre of the basin, sometimes enamelled, but oftener 
engraved, with coats of arms or other devices. 

The engraving (No. 37) is of a rose-water dish belong- 
ing to the Merchant Taylors' Company, one of two such 
dishes exhibited by them in the Loan Collection of 1862 
at South Kensington. It is described in the catalogue 
as ' ' a circular rose-water dish, silver, parcel gilt. On a boss 
in the centre, much raised up, is a coat of arms, viz. : a 
fess between eight billets. Eound the boss are six panels, 
containing dolphins and flowers, all in repousse\ Dol- 
phins and flowers in panels are also repeated in the rim. 
The other part of the dish is engraved with flowers in 
scrolls." It may be added that the arms are those of 
Richard Maye, who was Warden of the Company in 1575, 
and Master some few years later. 

The other specimens exhibited at the same time were 



266 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. x. 

in order of date, a silver-gilt salver engraved with 
foliated arabesques, a gift of Archbishop Parker to Corpus 
Christi College, Cambridge, in 1570, but bearing the hall- 
mark of 1545 ; next a silver-gilt ewer and salver of 1579 




No. 37. — ROSE-WATER SALVER (CIRCA 1590), AT MERCHANT TAYLORS' 
HALL, LONDON. 

and 1581, lent by the Duke of Eutland, the former 
formed of agate rings with silver-gilt bands between 
them, ornamented, as well as the top and bottom of the 
vase, in repousse, with dolphins and tritons in cartouches, 
snails, shells, fruit, flowers, birds, lobsters, tortoises and 
many other objects, " the mounts connected by four pro- 
jecting female terminal figures, with figures on their 



chap, x.] EWEES, BASINS, AND SALYEES. 267 

heads ending in scrolls ; the handle is formed by the 
head and body of a warrior, and terminates in twisted 
serpents' tails. On the back of the warrior is a large 
snail, with a smaller snail on the top of its shell, under 
the lip a female mask. The circular piece is repousse, 
with lions' claws, masks, and fruit between, with a boss 
of four projecting eagles' heads." The salver is 18 inches 
in diameter, and has eight oval pieces of agate inserted 
on the border, and a circular piece in the raised boss, the 
whole field being filled with repousse scrolls and ara- 
besques of birds, etc., the centre ornaments being a 
shrimp, lobster, dolphin and tortoise. 

The Corporations of Bristol and Norwich both possess 
fine specimens : the former, of 1595 ; and the latter city, 
of 1597, ornamented with engraving and repousse work, 
both admirable examples of English goldsmiths' work. 
These also were exhibited at South Kensington in 1862, 
and are described in detail in the official catalogue. 

Such examples are found down to the end of the reign 
of Charles I., after which a plainer fashion prevails, the 
salver being quite unornamented, and the ewers somewhat 
rude cup-shaped jugs, with or without feet, and with a 
single handle. With the accession of James II. come in 
the well-known helmet-shaped patterns which afterwards 
became very usual, and lasted till about 1 720. These 
were sometimes of elaborate design and finish; and, by per- 
mission of the Goldsmiths' Company, an engraving is given 
of the finest known specimen by that celebrated smith 
Paul Lamerie, as the frontispiece to this volume. This, 
too, was exhibited in 1862, and described as follows : — 

" On the lower part of the vase is a winged mermaid 
with two tails, accompanied by two boy-tritons blowing 
conches. The foot consists of marine flowers, shells, and 
reptiles. On the upper part of the vase are festoons of 



268 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. x. 

flowers and the Company's badges, the leopards' heads. 
The handle has a very bold half-length figure of a sea- 
god, terminating in foliage/' It is of the year 1741. 

The salver is 383 ounces in weight, and of workman- 
ship corresponding with that of the ewer, the border 
being designed boldly in Louis Quatorze scrolls, and 
panels enclosing figures of boys representing heathen gods. 

The salvers of the seventeenth and the beginning of 
the eighteenth centuries were plain circular dishes, and 
repousse work gave way to plain engraving towards the 
middle of the former century. Those which accompany 
the helmet-shaped ewers are usually quite plain. 

In the reign of Queen Anne, chasing is found, the 
edges of the salvers being both chased and shaped, the 
salvers themselves standing on three or sometimes four 
small feet. Some are both engraved and chased ; the 
talents of Hogarth were for some six years employed in 
engraving plate for Mr. Ellis Gamble, the silversmith, 
to whom he was apprenticed in 1712 ; and salvers or 
waiters, decorated by him, are said still to be seen. 
Strangely enough, the mark of his master is not to be 
found amongst those registered at Goldsmiths' Hall at 
that period. The plainer salvers of this date have often 
a gadrooned edge. 

This style of ornament was succeeded by the beaded 
edges of the time of George III., and circular or shaped 
salvers were replaced by the plain oval trays, having 
handles at the ends, which are then found almost to the 
exclusion of any other patterns. 

The following list gives a selection of examples, of all 
dates from the earliest : — ■ 

1. 1284. par pelvium arg' emp Lond. — Account of "jocalia" pur- 

chased for the king's use and presents, 12 & 13 Edw. I. 

2. 1296. 1 par pelvium; 1 lavator' arg' p aula, 1 bacinus arg' P 

eodem.— Wardrobe Accounts, 24 Edw. I. 



chap, x.] EWEES, BASINS, AND SALVERS. 269 

3. 1324. un ewer a triper dorre aymall t taille d'une vyne. — Inden- 

ture of royal plate, 17 Edw. II. 

4. 1339. un eawer endorre od doubles ymages (aymals) en* founce t 

en pomel chisellez d'une vigne. — Indenture of "jocalia" 
found in the Treasury, 12 Edw. III. 

5. 1347. ij bacyns, ma hure d'argent dore, un petit ewer d' argent 

dorre (will of John, Earl of Warren). — Test. Ebor. 

6. 1349. duos baciones enaymaillatos in fundo quorum in uno est judi- 

cium Salamonis et in alio est rota fortunse, duo magna 
lavatoria (will of Henry, Lord de Percy). — Idem. 

7. 1366. un ewer, — (plate bought of Thos. Hessey, goldsmith of 

London, and presented to the Constable of Elanders and 
others as gifts from the king, 39 Edw. III. 

8. 1369. un peire des bacyns ove swages endorres et enammaylles 

ewers ove spoutes. — Vessels bought of the executors of 
John Hiltoft, goldsmith, 42 Edw. III. 

9. 1392. Richard, Earl of Arundel, leaves to his wife Philippa a pair of 

basons, " in which I was accustomed to wash before dinner 
and supper." Nichols' Test. Vet. 

10. 1400. unum perepelvm de argento cum coopert' cum armis meis et 

Domini de Nevylle in fundo ; cum ij pelvis et ij aquariis 
argenti cum armis meis in fundo (will of Richard de Scrop). 
—Test. Ebor. 

11. 1419. duos pelves argenteos cum rosis in medio deauratis, duos 

aquarios cum ij idriis argenteis (will of Will. Gascoigne, 
L.C.J.).— Idem. 

12. 1433. unum ewer argenti cum le spowte in certis partibus de- 

auratum. — Idem. 

13. 1444. j laver cum ij spowtes deaurat'. — Idem. 

14. 1463. iij pelves cum pryntis et boses argenti et enameld in medio 

eorundum. — Idem. 

15. 1500. Two basons and two ewers part gilt weighing 117 oz. at 

3s. 4d. per oz. ; two great basons with two ewers partly gilt 
183 oz. at 3s. 4d.— Will of Thomas Kebeel, S.L. 

16. 1503. An ewer and basin of silver the swages gilt. 

17. 1505. A payyer of gilt basons, xviij basons with ewers. — Inv. of 

Lord Mayor's Feast. (E.E. Text Society.) 

18. 1519. duos pelves argenti cu lavat's in medio unius est una Rosa in 

alio scutu armor' meor' (will of Rawf Lathom citizen and 
goldsmith).— C.P.C. 32 Ayloffe. 

For existing specimens see Appendix A. : — 
1590, 1616, 1640, 1651, 1668, 1670, 1675, 1676, 
1677, 1679, 1680, 1685, 1705, 1706, 1715, 1720, 1721. 

* These images were slipped trefoils, the alternate ones being turned 
upside down. 



270 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. x. 

STANDING CUPS AND HANAPS. 

An article of hardly less importance in mediaeval times 
than the great salt-cellar, was the standing cup in which 
lord, abbot, or gentleman received his wine from the 
butler's hand after it had been duly " essayed." 

Whilst simple " treen " cups were used by the lower 
classes, those which graced the table of the high-born 
and wealthy were always of great magnificence and of 
costly material. The splendour of the cup marked the 
consequence of him who used it, as the standing salt did 
the position of the lord of the feast ; and if not of gold, 
silver, or silver-gilt, it was formed of some then rare 
material, such as the egg of the ostrich, the shell of 
the cocoa-nut, or, at least, of curiously mottled wood 
mounted on a foot and surrounded with bands of precious 
metal. 

Such cups were of great value, and some were prized no 
less for their intrinsic worth than for the historical or 
other associations which surrounded them. They were 
often known, not only in the household of the owner, but 
even in the district in which he lived, by special names, 
and the custody of the cup has signified the ownership of 
an estate. 

The "Constable Cup " of Sir Eichard de Scrop in 1400, 
and the great silver cup with a cover called " Le Chartre 
of Morpeth," mentioned in the will of John, Lord of Grey- 
stock, in 1436, must have been of some such importance 
as this.* Eichard, Earl of Arundel, in 1392 bequeaths 
to his wife Philippa "her own cup called Bealchier."t 
This was no doubt a family possession of much interest ; 
and, in many other less notable cases, drinking-cups are 
found to bear particular names, sometimes being named 

* Surtees Society.— Test. Ebor. f Nichols.— Test. Vet. 



chap, x.] STANDING CUPS AND HANAPS. ♦ 271 

after saints. Mazers named " Spang," " Cossyn/' and 
" Crumpuldud," have already been mentioned, all of the 
fifteenth century. These few instances will be enough 
to show that favourite drinking-cups were often given 
pet or special names ; but the list might be prolonged 
indefinitely. The same Bishop of Durham whose Indian 
nut will be presently mentioned, calls one of his cups 
" Chanteplure" in 1259 ;■* whilst Edmund de Mortimer, 
Earl of March, has a cup of gold with an acorn called 
" Benesonne " and another of silver called " Wassail," 
at his death in 1380.t 

A few words must be said both as to the term 
" hanap," so often applied to cups of this description, 
and as to the mode of using them, before going into 
further detail as to their varying fashion. The Norman- 
French word " hanap," then, which has at last come to 
mean a basket for package, in fact a hamper, is derived 
from the Saxon hncep, a cup or goblet, and was applied 
in mediaeval days to standing cups with covers, but only 
as it would seem to cups of some size and importance. 
As drinking vessels grew up, with the increasing luxury 
of the times, from wooden bowls into the tall " standing 
cups and covers " which is the proper description of 
the cups called hanaps, the use of the latter term 
became confined to such cups alone, and the place where 
such hanaps were kept was termed the hanaperium, a 
word which, as a place for cups, was in ecclesiastical 
establishments converted or corrupted into Ambry. This 
was necessarily a place of safe keeping and therefore a 
sort of Treasury. The hanaper accordingly was the safe 
place in the Chancery where the fees due for the sealing 
of patents and charters were deposited, and being 



* Test. Ebor. f Test. Vet. 



272 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. 



[chap. X. 



received by tlie Clerk of the Hanaper (or clerk of the 
Chancery Treasury), the term hanaper office has con- 
tinued to the present time. The hanaperium may 
originally have been a strong chest, and so the terms 
hanaper or hamper may have been applied and con- 
tinued, at last exclusively, to a chest-like basket with a 
lid, which was used for various purposes. 

A very few notes will show the importance of the 
hanap. A statute of 1285,* speaking of the security 
for good conduct to be given by tavern keepers, pre- 
scribes that an offender should be bound over by " soen 
hanap de la taverne ou par altre bon gage" This was 
evidently his principal drinking vessel. Again, William 
Lord Latimer specially mentions " la grant hanaper 
dJ argent endoere appelle Seint George " in his will 
dated 1381, and John of Gaunt in 1394 bequeaths 
" moun plus grant hanap d'or." In both these cases 
the cup is one of price. 

Far later on, in 1670, it is found that "he which is 
mayor of London for the time shall have an hanap dor 
or golden tanker at the coronation of every king."t 
Sometimes these grand cups w T ere placed upon the 
table and at others were handed to the lord when he 
chose to drink. The Boke of Nurture, by Hugh 
Ehodes, written in 1577, directs the server as follows : — 
u When he (the master) listeth to drinke and taketh of 
the cover, take the cover in thy hand and set it on 
agayne;" and the Boke of Curtasye, circa 1430 
another of these curious treatises, shall describe in its 
own words the mode of serving wine at that still earlier 
period : 



* 13 Edw. I., stat. 5. Statuta 
Civitatis London'. 

f Calthrop's Beports, 1670, cited 



in Wright's Diet, of Obsolete and 
Provincial English. 



chap, x.] CUPS OF ASSAY. 273 

" The kerver anon withouten thought 
TJnkovers the cup that he hase brought 
Into the coverture wyn he powres out 
Or into a spare pece * withouten doute 
Assayes an gefes tho lorde to drynke 
Or settes hit down as hym goode thynk ..." 

It further proceeds to say : 

" Bothe wyne and ale he tase indede 

Tho butler says withouten drede 

No mete for mon schalle sayed be 

Bot for kynge or prince or duke so fre . . ." 

This obliges us to note the constant fear of poison in 
which our ancestors lived, and their curious belief in the 
power of certain substances to detect its presence. It 
has already been remarked that cups always had covers, 
and salt-cellars in many cases, this was to prevent the 
introduction of poison ; but besides this, all meats and 
drinks were tasted or assayed by him who served them 
before they were partaken of by the lord, and, as we see, 
the books of etiquette prescribe the extent to which 
these precautions should be carried in serving at the 
tables of personages of various ranks ; none but the most 
exalted had aught tested but their beverages. 

" Cups of Assay " are not unfrequently found in the 
inventories of the great ; they are usually of small size. 
Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond, in 1527 had no less 
than four, graven with various devices in the bottom, 
such as a rose, a ring, or an eagle, and weighing from 
six to nine ounces each. Katherine Countess of North- 
umberland, in 1542, has "a cope of assey gilt with 
cresande sett on the bodome/' and in the next century, 



* Pece, cuppe; Pecia, crater. "A 
pece of silver or of metalle, a pyece 
of wyne cuppe "=crater. A cuppe, 



tasse, hanap*— <f Prompt. Parv." 

It is of constant occurrence in 
old inventories. 



274 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. 



[chap. X. 



1614, Henry Howard, Earl of Northampton, has such a 
cup nine ounces in weight. 

The cover, or a " spare pece " according to our autho- 
rity, was used instead of a special cup by people of 
less consequence. A further precaution was sometimes 
adopted in making the cup itself of one or other of the 
substances alluded to above. Salts, as we have seen, 
and cups, as we shall also find, were formed of the horn 
of the narwhal, which, did duty for that of the fabulous 
beast known as the unicorn, and was firmly believed to 
have the power of detecting poison.* Turquoises were 
supposed to turn of a paler blue, and certain crystals to 
become clouded, in the presence of poisons, and both 
were accordingly used in this faith for the decoration of 
cups. The well-known " Poison cup " at Clare Coll., 
Cambridge, has such a crystal mounted in the centre of 
the lid. 

Turning now to standing cups as we find them, pre- 
cedence must be given to those made of ostrich eggs 
and cocoa-nuts, mounted in silver, and having feet of the 
same metal. These were amongst the most popular in 
early times, and they are classed together because they 
are of similar size and shape, and their mounting is of 
the same character. Sometimes the cup itself was formed 
of silver or silver gilt shaped as an egg or nut, and in 



* Mr. E.W. Fairholt, in his Des- 
criptive Catalogue of the Londes- 
borough Collection, speaking of a 
nef mentioned in the inventory of 
Charles V- of France, which is said 
to hold " his essay, his spoon, knife 
and fork," alludes to essaying by 
the narwhal horn as follows : — 
" The essay was a piece of horn 
believed to be that of the unicorn, 
but really obtained from the nar- 



whal; and which was supposed to 
be an antidote to poison, and to 
detect . its presence by becoming 
agitated when plunged in liquor 
containing it ; for which reason it 
was attached to a chain of gold for 
the greater convenience of dipping 
it in the cup, and was the butler's 
duty to make trial or essay of the 
wine when presenting it to his 
lord." 



citap. x.] OSTEICH EGG CUPS. 275 

these cases it is difficult to say which of the two it is 
intended to represent. It has been suggested that the 
silver examples only occur when the earlier nut or egg 
has been broken, and the owner not being able to 
procure another has refilled the mount with a silver 
bowl or lining of similar shape ; but to set against this, 
it may be said that some of the silver linings are found 
of the same date and fashion as their feet and other 
mountings. A notice of some of these cups will serve 
to show for how many centuries they held their ground. 
As early as 1259, a bishop of Durham bequeaths his 
' f cyphum de mice Inclye cum pede et apparatu argenti;" 
and at the opposite end of the social scale, the inventory 
of a felon's goods in 1337 comprises amongst other 
things " one cup called a note with foot aud cover of 
silver value 30s.* An indenture of the following year 
mentions " a nut on a foot and silver covercle ;; amongst 
jewels sold. 

In 1349 Henry Lord Percy dies possessed of "unam 
copam de uno gripe," t and a Treasury Inventory of 
1399 (1 Henry VI.) contains the following item, 
" j maser tour de nutte garnisez d argent enorrez t 
cov'erc." 

In the two next centuries they are often mentioned, as 
the following list, compiled from the volumes of the 
Surtees Society and other sources, may serve to show : 

1. 1419. alius ciphus vocatus a grypey ligatus cum argento et 

deaurato. — Will of Judge Gascoigne. Test. Ebor. 

2. 1420. unum note argenti herneisiatum et deauratum optimum 

cum coopertorio; unum ciphum vocatum Note cum co- 
operculo deaurato. — Will of John Eromond, Archl. Jour. 
XVI., 166. 



* Riley's "Memorials of London 
and London Life," pp. 199, 203. 
f Surtees Society Trans. — Test. 



Ebor. Gripe or grypey = egg of the 
grype or griffin. 

T 2 



276 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [cha?. x. 

3. 1428. j hanape dargent dorrez fait a la ni de j notte poissant de 

troye iij lb. iiij unz q at le lb. xlviijs., viij li. — Treasury of 
the Exchequer, Inv. 6 Henry VI. 

4. 1431. unum nigrum notfc coopertum et deauratum cum una 

aquila. in summitate cooperculi; unum chalescopp argenti 
et deaurati ad modum unius gripe egg cum scriptura in 
cooperculo. — Test. Ebor. 

5. 1433. unum ciphurn vocatum le mitt coopertum cum pede argenti 

stantem. — Idem. 

6. 1444. iij Gripes eyes coy'ed garnysshed wt silver and gilt weyng 

vi lb. unc p's the unce ijs. \id. Sma ixli. xiis. Yid. ; also 

ij notes cov'ed garnysshed wt silver t gilt weyng xxiii unces 

p's the unce ijs. \id. Sma lviis. yid. — Treasury of the 

Exchequer, Inv. 22 Henry VI. 
unam peciam yocatam Grypeg deaur'. — Test. Ebor. 
meum optimum nutt, meum less nutt. — Idem, 
j standyng blake nutte quee fuit matris meae. — Idem, 
a standyng gilt nutt. — Will of Sir Thos. Lyttelton. Nichols' 

Test. Vet. 
a cup of silver called the grype's egg. — Test. Ebor. 
unum ciphum vocatum le nutte stantem argen' in toto cum 

coopertorio. — Idem. 
a notte paynted the coveryng silver and gilt. — Idem, 
a gylt nut with fote bryme and rybbes of sylver and gilt; 

a small nut with fote brime and cover of sylver. — Inv. of 

Minster Priory in Sheppe} 7 ". 
15. 1535. a littell olde nut with a bonde of sylver and gilt and a 

littell bonde of sylver and gilt ; ij nutts with ij covers of 

sylver and gylt, and the said nuts garnysshed with silver 

and gilt, xxxiii uns. — Inv. of Maison-Dieu, Dover ; 26 

Henry VIII. 
a nutt gilt with a cover. — Surtees Society, Wills and Inv. 
one nutt double gilt weinge xxxv. ounces xili. xiiis. iiijd — 

Idem. 
my black nut with the cover. — Idem, 
one nutte of silver to drink in dwoble gilte with a cover. — 

Wills and Inv. 

These notes plainly indicate that just as a silver gilt 
bowl shaped as a mazer would sometimes be called by 
that name, so silver cups were called nuts if they were 
so formed. Specimens of all three materials are extant. 
Cocoa-nut cups of the fifteenth century are to be seen 
at Oriel and New Colleges, Oxford, the latter society 
possessing two specimens. The great City Companies 



7. 


1454, 


8. 


1459. 


9. 


1476, 


10. 


1481, 


11. 


1490, 


12. 


1492, 


13. 


1508. 


14. 


1527. 



16. 


1558, 


17. 


1570, 


18. 


1577, 


19. 


1596, 



chap, x.] COCOA-NUT CUPS. 277 

possess several, the Vintners, the Armourers, and the 
Ironmongers each have one, from the latter of which 
our engraving (No. 38) is taken. It gives a very good 




No. 38.— COCOA- IS' UT CUP (CIRCA 1500) AT IRONMONGERS' HALL, LONDON. 

idea of the way in which they were generally mounted 
at the beginning of the sixteenth century. The speci- 
men at Vintners' Hall is very like this, and bears the 
hall-mark of 1518-19. Ostrich-egg cups are not so 



278 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. x. 

common, perhaps because they were rather more easily 
broken. Exeter College, Oxford, possesses an egg cup of 
the first years of the seventeenth century, and the Earl 
of Howe another of earlier date ; all these were exhibited 
in the Loan Collection at South Kensington in 1862. 

There is a very ancient ostrich egg at Corpus Christi 
College, Cambridge, the history of which can be traced 
to the fourteenth century. It was originally used for 
carrying about the Host, and being broken in the 
mastership of one Moptycl, or between 1553 and 1557, 
it is said to have been renewed at the expense of Richard 
Fletcher, when Bishop of Bristol (1589-92). This 
curious account of it, given by Masters in his history 
of the college, written late in the last century, is borne 
out by the hall-mark which is still legible on the mount, 
and fixes its date as of the year 1592-93. The cup, 
now much broken, is held together by its very plain 
silver tripod mounting, the only ornament of which is a 
little Elizabethan engraving. 

The Earl of Ducie has a silver gilt cup of this shape, 
mounted with vertical-hinged bands to hold the bowl, 
which rests in this instance in a socket or frame 
supported by three dolphins, which are placed on the 
top of a circular foot. This specimen, which is possibly 
unique, is of the year 1584-5. 

Other drinking hanaps, no less ancient than the last, 
are formed of horns mounted in silver, as shown in 
the accompanying engraving (No. 39), which is taken 
from one in the possession of Christ's Hospital, London. 
Either because horns as well as the other substances 
previously mentioned were supposed to have the property 
of revealing the presence of poison in any liquor poured 
into them, or for some better reason, they have been used 
as drinking vessels from early times. The same great 



CHAP. X.] 



MOUNTED DEINKING HOENS. 



279 



ecclesiastic who died possessed of a nut in 1259, also 
had a drinking horn, which he left to his sister Agatha, 
describing it as " cornu meum magnum ad bibendum 
cum apparatu argenti." Sir Brian de Stapleton in 1394 
had " j corne esteaunt sur deux pees/' which must have 
been very like our engraving, whilst Chief Justice 
Gascoigne leaves a cup called " Unicorn " to his son in 




No. 3;).— MOUNTED DRINKING HORN AT CHEIST'S HOSPITAL, LONDON. 

1419. Three quarters of a century later Sir Brian 
Eowcliffe mentions in his will " unum cornu ad biben- 
dum garnesiatum cum argento et deaurV* A fourth 
example may be given from the inventory of the Guild 
of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Boston taken in 1534. 
" Itm a drynkynge home ornate with silv' and gilte in 



* All these are from the often 
quoted "TestamentaEboracensia; " 



the wills cited were proved 1259, 
1394, 1419, and 1494 respectively. 



280 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. x. 

three p'tes of it wt ij feit of silv' and gilte wfc a stone 
sett in silv' an gilte weyng in the whole xiiij unc. di." 

This is of the same date or thereabouts as the horn 
engraved above. 

Of a little earlier period is the celebrated Cawdor horn 
long preserved at Golden Grove. An engraving of this 
(No. 40) has been kindly placed at the author's disposal 




No. 40.— THE CAWDOR HORN (TEMP. HENRY VII.). 

by His Grace the Duke of Beaufort. It has a foot of 
silver, ornamented with the royal supporters, the date 
of which is somewhere about 1485, and it is said to 
have been the first drinking vessel used by Henry, 
Earl of Eiehmond, after landinp; in England in that 
year, and presented by him to David ap Evan, son 
of Eoderick the Great, who lived at Llwyndafydd in 
Llandisiliogogo, and there entertained the Earl and 
his men in his expedition against Richard III. An 
elephant's tusk, carved with figures and mounted with 
silver of sixteenth-century work, is to be seen at the 
British Museum. 



chap, x.] STANDING CUPS AND HANAPS. 381 

Lastly, we come to standing cups made entirely of 
the precious metals themselves. These are not confined 
to any one century, and there are extant specimens to 
illustrate the work of successive generations of gold- 
smiths for three hundred years. In speaking of the 
word hanap it appeared that such cups as these w^ere in 
fashion as far back as records go. The earliest speci- 
men, however, bearing a recognised English hall-mark, 
and therefore of an ascertained date, is no older than 
1499 ; not but that there are a few still more ancient 
cups in existence. The enamelled cup at Lynn, for 
instance, is of the fourteenth century, a covered cup 
of beaker shape at Oriel College, Oxford, and one 
or two others at Cambridge are of the fourteenth and 
fifteenth centuries, but of none of them can it positively 
be said that they are of English make. Something, 
however, must be said about them in passing. The 
Lynn cup is one of the most interesting cups in exist- 
ence ; it has been known as " King John's cup " for cen- 
turies, and is said to have been given to the town by 
that king. This can hardly be the case, as the cos- 
tumes of the enamelled figures with which the bowl is 
covered are of the fourteenth century. It is of hardly the 
less interest for this, because it is still the most remark- 
able specimen of the goldsmith's work of the period, 
ancient enough, to which it really belongs. It is a tall 
standing cup, 15 inches high, with a cover, silver gilt, 
and enriched, as we have said, with enamels, the bowl 
being divided into compartments by vertical ribs, in 
which figures appear, male and female. The stem is 
very slender, and rises from a circular foot. It was ex- 
hibited at South Kensington in 1862, and had before 
that been engraved in " Examples of Art Workmanship." 
The beaker, or stoup, at Oriel Coll., Oxford, of which an 



28a 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. 



[chap. x. 




No. 41.— cup (15th cent.) at oriel coll., oxford. 



CHAP. X.] 



STANDING CUPS AND HANAPS. 



283 



engraving* (No. 41) is given, is another very ancient 
cup, but, like the last, not of the date that tradition 
would assign to it. It is nearly a century and a half 
later than the reign of Edward II., to whom the letters 
upon it are supposed to refer, and in point of fact it 
much resembles a stoup given to Christ's Coll., Cam- 
bridge, by Margaret, Countess of Eichmond, of which 
the date is 1507. Another cup, at the last-mentioned 
College, called the Foundress' Cup, is, on the other hand, 
rather before her time. Its diagonal bands, ornamented 
with running foliage in repousse, and the Gothic cresting 
which surround the cover and the base, are of the fifteenth 
century, and might be of the latter part of it, but the 
coat-of-arms enamelled on the boss within it are those 
of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, impaled with those 
of his second wife, Eleanor Cobham. This impalement 
would point to 1440, or a year or two earlier, as the 
date of the cup, and suggests the remark that it might 
prove to have been a christening present made to the 
Countess Margaret when an infant, and that Duke Hum- 
phrey might turn out to have been one of her sponsors, 
for she was born in or about 1440. At all events, such 
are the arms upon it, though they are popularly sup- 
posed to be those of the Foundress herself, the cup 
coming into the possession of the College at her death in 
1509. 

The " Leigh " cup of the Mercers' Company (see 
No. 42) is the earliest hanap known to be hall-marked. 
It is of the year 1499-1500, and notwithstanding some 
small alteration and repair, is a beautiful specimen of 
goldsmiths' work. It is silver gilt, sixteen inches high 



* For this engraving, as for that 
of the Oriel College mazer, the 
author is indebted to the Council 



of the Royal Archaeological Insti- 
tute, and under the same circum- 
stances (see p. 243). 



284 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. x. 




No. 42.— THE LEIGH CUP (1499) AT MERCERS* HALL, LONDON. 



chap, x.] STANDING CUPS AND HANAPS. 285 




No. 43.— THE RICHMOND CX r P AT ARMOTJREES' HALL, LONDON. 



286 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. x. 

and six and a half inches in diameter. The pierced band 
of Gothic tracery with a cresting of Tudor flowers is 
repeated around the cover, and in the lozenge-shaped 
panels, into which the bowl of the cup is divided by the 
intersection of corded bands, are maidens' busts and 
flagons alternately, the former much like the busts on 
the sides of the Mercers' Company beakers, an engraving 
of which will be given later. A demi-virgin gules 
within an orle of clouds, forms the coat-of-arms borne 
by this Worshipful Company, and this is further alluded 
to by the figure of a pure virgin with a unicorn re- 
posing in her lap, which surmounts the cover of the 
cup. The coats-of-arms around the knop, and the 
lettered bands, are in enamel. 

The cup next to be noticed is of the same or possibly 
even of a little earlier date than the last. It is the beau- 
tiful " Richmond " cup of the Armourers' Company, so 
called because presented in 1557 by one John Richmond 
(see No. 43). It is thirteen inches high, and weighs fifty- 
one ounces. Its style speaks for itself, and recalls the 
simple but elegant make of the hour-glass salts of about 
the same date. The bowl is not unlike that of the 
Leigh cup in shape, though the real outline of the 
latter is somewhat hidden by the ornaments ; they both 
resemble in this respect a chalice of 1511 at Chewton 
Mendip, the St. Denis cup at Pembroke College, Cam- 
bridge, of which the date is very uncertain, and the 
Anathema cup at the same College, which is of the year 
1481. 

We now come to a typical specimen of Elizabethan 
art in the " Chapman " cup of the same Worshipful 
Company (see No. 44). It was the gift of one Edmond 
Chapman in 1581, and its hall-mark corresponds with 
its history, being of the same or the preceding year. 



chap, x.] STANDING CUPS AND HANAPS. 



2S7 




2n t 0. 44.—THE CHAPMAN CTJP (1580) AT ARMOTJEEEs' HALL, LONDON. 



288 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. x. 

The date-letter is the Eoman capital letter C of the 
goldsmiths' year 1580-1. 

The egg-and-tongue moulding and the bands of 
engraven foliage identify the cup at a glance as of the 
reign of Queen Elizabeth. A statuette probably once 
surmounted the cover, which was added to the cup in 
1610, but this has been broken off. The belt of foliage 
around the upper part of the cup is just what is found 
upon the Protestant communion cups of this period. 

Before passing to the seventeenth century a few 
words must be said of cups of exceptional form or 
material. Ivory standing cups are sometimes found, 
and of these the best known example is the celebrated 
cup called Thomas a Becket's at Corby Castle. This is 
a very ancient ivory cup bearing the initials TB and a 
mitre, from which it has been supposed that it may 
have belonged to the saint and archbishop himself; but 
although very old, it cannot possibly be referred to as 
early a date as the twelfth century, and the mounting 
is of the reign of Henry VIII. The date-letter is on 
the oldest portion of the mount, and is the Lombardic 
H of 1525, the date properly assigned to it many years 
ago by Mr. Octavius Morgan. In Chaffers' " Hall-marks 
on Plate," it has, perhaps by some mistake, been assigned 
to the year 1445. The interesting history of the cup, 
which was given by Sir Edward Howard, Lord High 
Admiral, to Queen Katherine of Arragon, and after- 
wards reverted to the Earl of Arundel, points to the 
date at which it was mounted, and coincides happily 
with the hall-mark. The style of the belt, which bears 
in Lombardic character the inscription vinum ■ tvvm ■ 
bibe * cvm • gavdio, and the groundwork of the letters, 
which also carries the hall-mark, closely correspond with 
the inscribed bands on the Trinity College, Oxford, 



chap, x] STANDING CUPS AND HANAPS. 289 

chalice and the Narford mazer of the years 1527 and 
1532 respectively. 

Mr. French in his Descriptive Catalogue of the Art 
Treasures collected many years ago in Ironmongers' 
Hall, which included this beautiful cup, gives a list of 
all the fifteenth-century bishops whose initials were 
TB, to one or other of whom he thought it might have 
belonged. These were Thomas Brown, Bishop of Nor- 
wich, 1436 to 1445; Thomas Beckynton, Keeper of the 
Privy Seal, Bishop of Bath, 1443 to 1464 ; and Thomas 
Bourchier, successively Bishop of Worcester 1434, of 
Ely 1443, Archbishop of Canterbury 1454 to .1486, and 
cardinal. The remark may be added that a mitre 
bearing some small heraldic charges upon it, is the 
crest of the Berkeleys, and that the initials might with 
equal probability refer to a member of that family. 

Early in the reign of Elizabeth, cups are found 
fashioned as gourds or melons, with feet formed as their 
twisted stems and tendrils. The Armourers' Company and 
the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple each have 
one, the former of the year 1585, the latter dated 1563. 
Cups, too, shaped as birds and other animals, their heads 
taking off to form them into drinking vessels, sometimes 
occur. The set of fine large cups, called the " Cockayne h 
cups, of the Skinners' Company, are the best known 
examples of these. They were made in 1565, but given 
to the Company later. The pea-hen cup of the same 
Company is less known than the Cockayne cups ; an 
engraving of it, which gives a good idea of this class of 
cup, is given (No. 45). 

In Germany drinking cups often took these and other 
quaint shapes, such as windmills, at about this time, and 
until the middle of the following century. The wind- 
mills seem always of foreign make, but another favourite 



290 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. x. 




No. 45. -PEA-HEN CUP (LATE 16TH CENT.), AT SKINNERS HALL, LONDON. 



chap, x.] STANDING CUPS AND HANAPS. 



291 




No. 46.—DOUBLE CUP (17TH CENTURY), AT VINTNEKS' HALL, LONDON. 



IT 2 



£92 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. x. 

cup is found of English make as well as German. These 
are the well-known cups, sometimes called "w^ager 
cups," in the form of a woman, holding a smaller cup 
over her head with upstretched arms. A very beautiful 
seventeenth century cup of this kind is amongst the plate 
of the Vintners' Company, and of this an engraving is 
given (No. 46). It is not quite certain whether it is of 
English or foreign workmanship. They are all very 
much alike in style. 

A very little later another very distinctive fashion 
prevailed. The " Edmonds " cup of the Carpenters' 
Company is an admirable illustration of it (See No. 47). 
This is one of four valuable cups, all much alike, in the 
possession of the company, given by the wardens whose 
names they bear. The foot is much like those of earlier 
cups, but the stem is different, being formed as acanthus 
or other leaves, the upper part of it baluster- shaped. It 
forms a link between the Elizabethan and the plain 
baluster stems which are so often found in the seven- 
teenth century. 

The bowl is as characteristic of its period as the stem, 
the pointed shape being general for a time, and the 
covers of all these cups are surmounted by an open 
work steeple of the kind shown in the engraving. 
This "Edmonds" cup was given in 1613, and was 
made that same year : the others are of 1611 and 
1628. 

The Armourers' Company have two very similar cups, 
called the " Leycroft " and the " Foster " cup, the former 
of 1608, and the latter of 1631, and the Trinity House 
other two of the years 1611 and 1627 respectively. 
These dates serve to plainly mark the interval within 
which these cups remained in vogue. The covers in 
each of these instances are surmounted by open work 



&X 



No. 47.— THE EDMONDS CUP (1613) AT CARPENTERS' HALL, LON1 



2S 



294 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. x. 

pyramids, or steeples, those at the Trinity House being 
supported by mermaids. 

A cup of this fashion, gilt, and weighing 46 oz., 
was sold at Christie and Manson's Rooms in June, 
1875, for £200, or about four and a half guineas an 
ounce. 

A stray example of as late a date as 1646, called the 
" Eawlinson " cup, may be seen at Vintners' Hall. This 
is the very last known to the writer. 

To these succeeded a much less artistic form of cup, 
which held its own, however, much longer, being found 
from about 1638 to 1694, the dates of the earliest and 
latest of them that have been noted. 

The engraving (No. 48) is taken from one of the year 
1655, which was once the property of the Blacksmiths' 
Company, but found its way into the Bernal Col- 
v lection, passing thence to Mr. Dexter, and from him, 

it is understood, back home again to its original pos- 
sessors. 

It is about twelve inches high, and stands on a large 
circular foot. Its stem is of somewhat exceptional form, 
being a figure of Vulcan. In all the other examples known 
of this pattern of cup the stems are plain balusters. 
The bowls of all or nearly all of them are covered with 
granulated ornament, as shown in the engraving, and 
are of the same shape. 

Most of the City Companies, the Trinity House, and 
the Inns of Court are supplied with one or more of these 
favourite loving cups, which were made in great num- 
bers for more than half a century. 

It is not to be supposed, however that there was no 
demand for a more decorated style of cup, especially in 
the festive reign of Charles II. Cups of the greatest 
magnificence are found of that period, of which two 



MARCH 1, 1890. 



^Blacksmiths' Company, was a tall o^ of S * 
lUJm. h lg h, without a cover, the bowl engraved w?tn 
the arms ot the Blacksmiths' Company, and decorlted 
W f "d«J gifted ornament> the grated 

..ngure of Vulcan standing by his anvil, on which it 
engraved he motto, « By hammer and handll ar J, 
doe stand,'' and round the brim inscribed, " Th" St 
eCkr.stopherPym.npon his admission o the pl? ce 
! $? °L th ' S Com P^. " ! t^ hall-mark upon* ?is 

, t^lalph^BernTl.Tnd^p^e/Tnr f^A™ * 
I Dexter, and is described Ind engraved M„ c- M f' 
"Old English Plate." It weighs 30nr i3 P™??, 8 6 
was net sold at per ounce, Ind* brought" 4cS *" *?* 
sold in the Bernal collection in i«kk ~°^0- nhen 



.sold for £367 10s, 



ary ia90 ln test a te and /,! ivT SIneer »ho died n ,A? °. rey s G »t< 



J'N the Matt 

b saall be speciti 



CHAP. X.] 



STANDING CUPS AND HANAPS, 



295 




No. 48. — the blacksmiths' cup (1G55). 




NO. 49.-TIIE ROYAL OAK CUP (1676), AT BARBER SURGEONS' HALL, LONDON. 



chap, x.] STANDING CUPS AND HANAPS. 297 

examples may be given to show what the Caroline 
goldsmith could accomplish. 

The "Koyal Oak" grace cup (No. 49) was presented 
by the merry monarch to the Barber Surgeons' Company 
in 1676. It is 16f inches high, including the cover, and 
is formed as an oak tree, the bowl being supported by 
the trunk and branches. It is profusely ornamented with 
chased leaves and garlands, and has an arched royal 
crown as a cover. 

The other example is the cup (No. 50) given by Samuel 
Pepys to the Cloth workers' Company. It is of about the 
same date as the last, 1677, but of greater size, being 23 
inches high, and of 166 ounces weight. 

Its general shape is much like that of the plainer 
loving cups on baluster stems which have already been 
described, but in this case the plain bowl is surrounded by 
a removable silver casing of pierced flowers and scrolls 
of very elaborate and beautiful work, and the foot and 
baluster stem are ornamented in a similar manner. 

This may bring us to the eighteenth century, and the 
simple but massive two-handled cups with covers that 
mark the reigns of Queen Anne and the earlier part of 
the Georgian period. 

These seem to have been the only form of cup made 
for a long time, and are of every size and degree of 
finish, from those of simplest workmanship up to the 
beautiful specimen by the master hand of Paul Lamerie, 
from which our illustration (No. 51) of the class is taken, 
by permission of the Goldsmiths' Company. 

It is one of the best possible examples of a well- 
known form of cup, of the decoration of the period, and 
of the work of this celebrated artist, who flourished from 
1712 when he entered into business, till his death in the 
summer of 1751. It may be remarked that his fame 




No. 50.— THE PEPYS CUP (1677), AT OLOTHWOBKEfis' 



HALL, LONDOX. 



CHAP. X.] 



STANDING CUPS AND HANAPS. 



299 



was fairly and honourably earned by the personal atten- 
tion he seems to have devoted to his art throughout his 
whole career. Much of the beautiful work which bears 
his mark must have been executed by his own hand, for 
it appears from his will, which, dated in May and proved 




JSTo. 51. — TWO HANDLED CUP AND COVER (1739), BY PAUL LAMERIE, 
AT GOLDSMITHS' HALL, LONDON. 



in August, 1751, gives us the period of his death within 
a few weeks, that he kept only two journeymen, to one 
of whom, Samuel Collins, he entrusted specially the duty 
of preparing his unfinished plate for sale by auction for 
the benefit of his widow and three daughters. That he 
had no son accounts for the disappearance of the name 
from the books of the Goldsmiths' Company. He was of 



300 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. x. 

French extraction, as his name and those of the personal 
friends named as his executors denote. He worked 
under the name of Lamerie, but used the prefix "de " in 
signing his last will. 

No special forms or fashions can be identified with 
any particular period from the middle of the last century 
onwards, if we except the oval-pointed cups, sometimes 
fluted, but more often ornamented with hanging festoons 
sometimes carried over medallions, which are also found 
on Wedgwood ware of the time of Flaxman. The potters 
and the goldsmiths have often copied each other's designs, 
or else have resorted to the same designers ; and as in 
the reign of William III. Staffordshire ware made by the 
well-known John Philip Elers, from 1690 onwards, re- 
produced the Chinese ornament patronised by the gold- 
smiths a decade earlier, so now Flaxman and his school 
influenced the goldsmith's work of the day almost as 
much as the ornamentation of ceramic ware, with which 
his name is more often associated. This was no doubt 
owing to the extraordinary popularity of Wedgwood 
ware, for which Flaxman for many years furnished the 
models ; it not being so generally known that he was 
employed also by Rundell and Bridge, the goldsmiths. 
Fine examples executed by them after his designs are 
at Windsor Castle and other places. 

No better illustration of the style could be found than 
the vase-like cup which has been selected for our en- 
graving (No. 52). It is one of a pair made in the year 
1795, and is the property of the Merchant Taylors' Com- 
pany, by whose permission it has been engraved. 

It is generally admitted that the goldsmiths of the 
nineteenth century in England are not behind those of 
days gone by, and have of late years even outstripped 
their continental brethren in an art which is capable of 



CHAP. X.] 



TANKARDS. 



301 



so much. May their works be ranked in days to come 
amongst the finest specimens of " Old English Plate." 




No. 52. — cup (1795), at merchant taylors' hall, London. 

TANKARDS. 
The use of the word " tankard/' in its now familiar 
sense of a large silver drinking vessel with a cover and 
handle, is of comparatively modern introduction. No 
article of plate is called by this name in any of the 
volumes of wills and inventories published by the Surtees 
Society, which reach down to the year 1600. The word 
seems to first occur in this sense about 1575, and from 



302 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. 



[chap. X. 



that time is constantly applied to the vessels that have 
ever since been known as tankards. In earlier days it 
was used for the wooden tubs bound with iron, and con- 
taining some three gallons, in which water was carried. 
The men who fetched water from the conduits in London 
were called " tankard-bearers," and in a Coroner's Eoll 
of 1276, for the Ward of Castle Baynard, tankards are 
mentioned as the vessels they bore. This roll sets forth 
that one Grene, a water-carrier, who had come to St. 
Paul's Wharf, " cti quodam tancardo," intending to take 
up water with it, entered a boat there and after filling 
the tankard attempted to place it on the wharf, but the 
weight of water in the tankard made the boat move 
away as he was standing on the board of the boat, and 
he fell into the water between them and was drowned, 
as the coroner found, by misadventure.* 

Again in 1337, the keepers of the conduits receive a 
sum of money for rents for " tynes and tankards," 
thereat, and in 1350 a house is hired for one year at 105. 
to put the tankards — les tanqers — in, and two irons 
costing 2s. 6d. bought for stamping them.f 

These same utensils are found in farming accounts of 
the same period. In 1294 at Framlingham co. Suff. the 
binding with iron of thirteen tankards costs 3s., and six 
years later, a three-gallon iron-bound tankard is priced 
in Cambridge at Is. At Leatherhead a two gallon 
tankard is valued at 2d. in 1338, and two such vessels 
at E]ham, together cost Ad. in 13644 

All this time tankards are mentioned in no other 
connection ; but when we come to the sixteenth century, 



* Coroner's Eoll, 17 June, 4Edw. 
I. — Eiley's " Memorials of London 
and London Life," p. 6. 

t Eiley's "Memorials" &c, pp. 



201, 265. 

I Prof. Eogers' "History of Agri- 
culture and Prices in England," 
Vol II. pp. 577, 568, 571, 573. 



chap, x.] TANKAEDS. 303 

a notice of " lether " tankards occurs. This is in a church, 
account of 1567, and they were no doubt used as fire 
buckets. A churchwardens' inventory of the same 
period (1566) speaks of a " penny tanckerd of wood used 
as a holy- water stock." Even later than this, tankards 
appear in household accounts classed with other kitchen 
goods, for an inventory of the chattels of one Edward 
Waring, Esq., of Lea, taken in 1625, includes "two 
tankerds and one payle," certainly not amongst his plate. 
Sometime before this, however, the term was occasionally 
applied to silver vessels. The will of Sir George Heron 
of Harbottell, proved at Durham in 1576 or thereabouts, 
mentions his " three silver tanckards " valued at vili. ; and 
in a Norwich will of 1583, there is an entry of " one Canne 
or Tanckerd of sylver." These are some of the earliest 
instances of a then new application of the word, which 
soon not only became common, but entirely superseded 
the old. 

It was, after all, not very unnatural to transfer a word 
originally used for a capacious water-tub, to a drinking 
vessel that was also large of its kind, and it is difficult 
to understand why etymologists should have gone so far 
out of their way, as they have, to find derivations for it. 
Some of these are very fanciful ; Duchat and Thomson 
would, both derive "tankard" from tin-quart, and 
Dr. Thomas Henshaw from the twang or sound the lid 
makes ; but after all, if tank is derived, as it surely is, 
from the French estang, a pond or pool, it is not 
necessary to go further for a derivation of the name of a 
vessel which was originally intended to hold water than 
to connect it with tank, and derive it from the same 
source. Johnson's Dictionary describes it as " a large 
vessel for strong drink," and cites Ben Jonson : " Hath 
his tankard touched your brain ? " 



304 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. x. 

One of the earliest extant specimens of what we 
should now call a tankard is preserved at Corpus Christi 
College, Cambridge. It is of the year 1571-2, and is 
elaborately ornamented with arabesque bands of repousse 
and engraved work. The Ashmolean Museum at Oxford 
has a beautiful example of 1 5 74. These are both of 
moderate size, not more than six or seven inches high, 
and the Oxford example tapers a good deal from the 
bottom upwards. 

The well-known " Poison Cup " at Christ's College, 
Cambridge, which has already been mentioned in another 
connection, is a glass tankard enclosed in silver filagree 
casing of about the same date as the last. 

To these succeed the taller, upright, and straight- 
sided tankards, often beautifully ornamented, that are 
found in the reigns of James I. and Charles I. One of 
these, belonging to the Corporation of Norwich, and 
made in the year 1618, is given here (No. 53). The 
drum is repousse, ornamented with strap-work, forming 
diamond divisions, which are filled with flowers and fruit, 
and with medallions bearing the usual marine monsters 
of the period. This is strikingly like a flagon of the 
year 1619, which has been referred to before, at Ken- 
sington parish church. A pair of similar fashion but 
perhaps more elaborate, are amongst the valuable pos- 
sessions of the Corporation of Bristol. These last are of 
1634. 

Later tankards are plainer, and are of constant 
occurrence. Seventeenth century inventories frequently 
mention them, and plenty of specimens are still in 
existence. 

A splendid pair, from one of which our engraving 
(No. 54) is taken, came into the possession of the 
Merchant Taylors' Company in London, on the dissolu- 



CHAP. X.] 



TANKAED& 



305 



tion of a Dublin Guild some years ago, and they bear 
round the lower part of the drum, the acanthus leaf 
ornament which is so characteristic of the time at which 




■sill 

]^ 0# 53. — TANKARD (1618), IN THE POSSESSION OF THE CORPORATION OF 

NORWICH. 



they were made. They bear the Dublin hall-marks for 
1680. A note as to prices may not be inappropriate. 
From an early account-book of the Clockmakers' Com- 
pany it may be quoted that a pair of tankards, ordered 
to be bought at about this time, and weighing together 
100 oz., cost £31 195. 5d. 



306 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. 



[CIIAP. X. 



Ordinary domestic tankards of the second half of this 
century are very plain, often of great diameter in pro- 
portion to their depth, and have flat lids and very massive 
handles. They came in at the Eestoration, and are 
found till about 1710 or 1720, when a shaped drum 




No. 54. — IRISH TANKARDS (1680), AT MERCHANT TAYLORS' HALL, LONDON. 



and raised lid, surmounted with a knob, was introduced 
of a fashion so well known at the present day, both in 
silver and pewter, that it is unnecessary to describe it 
more fully. These are perhaps as often without lids as 
with them, and may be seen in every tavern. 

It has already been remarked that the so-called flagons 
used ordinarily in English churches are, properly speak- 
ing, tankards, and the origin of the application of the 



chap, x.] TAZZE. 307 

word flagon to them has been explained in the previous 
chapter. 

Tankards of the tall highly ornamented kind will be 
found in the chronological list at the years 1618, 1619, 
1634, a plain one at 1634 ; and the ordinary flat lidded 
tankard at 1664, 1666, 1669, and onwards. 



SMALLER CUPS. 

INCLUDING TAZZE, BEAKERS, TASTERS, CAUDLE-CUPS, PORRINGERS, 
TUMBLERS, ETC. 

Side by side with the standing cups, which were often 
more fitted for decorating the " cup-board " than for 
use except on state occasions, and bearing the same 
relation to them that the trencher-salt did to the stand- 
ing salt-cellar, are found a number of smaller cups and 
basins adapted for every day requirements. A short 
chronological notice of their forms will perhaps be of 
more practical use to the collector than the preceding 
section, for whilst standing cups are seldom for sale, and 
when they are, command prices that are beyond the 
reach of any but the very wealthy, good specimens of 
smaller drinking cups are more easy of acquisition. 

Tazze. Very elegant cups, usually on baluster stems 
and with bowls shaped like the low open champagne 
glasses of nineteenth century use, are found from about 
1570 till the outbreak of the Civil War in the reign of 
Charles I. Specimens of these are much prized by the 
collector, and they are by no means common, though the 
Armourers' Company are fortunate enough to possess a 
number of them. 

They are of two shapes, the earlier (No. 55) not being 
found after the end of the sixteenth century, the later 
from that time till about 1640 (No. 56). The bowls 

x 2 



308 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. 



[chap. X. 



of these last are often punched all over with small 
bosses in rings or other patterns from the outside, 



kQreti^O/xo^/H 





No. 55. — TAZZA, CIRCA 1585. 




No. 56. — TAZZA, EARLY 17TH CENTURY. 

decreasing in size towards the centre and somewhat 
resembling the designs now produced by engine-turning. 



chap, x.] BEAKEKS. 309 

This was possibly in imitation of the Venetian glasses 
which were much used for drink at this period by those 
who could afford them. One of 1599, the property of 
Mr. Octavius Morgan, is so ornamented ; and several of 
the Armourers' Company cups, which are all of the later 
type, are similarly treated. 

Tasters are the small shallow circular bowls with a 
flat handle that are sometimes called bleeding-basins, but 
incorrectly, the latter being larger vessels. They are 
constantly mentioned in the plate lists of Elizabethan 
days, but rarely earlier than 1570, nor more than a 
single one in each list. It is true that a " taster with 
a cover" occurs in an inventory of 1487,* but this was 
in all probability a cup of assay. The ordinary tasters 
weighed about three ounces, and were valued at about 
ten or twelve shillings. The extant specimens are 
mostly of the middle or end of the next century. 

Beakers. These come next in order, occurring first 
at the very beginning of the seventeenth century, a few 
may be found of earlier but not much earlier date, 
though their name occurs long before in inventories. 
In England, at all events, they are more often seen in 
the cabinet of the collector than amongst the ancient 
treasures of great people or great corporations, a fact 
which must be left to explain itself as best it can. Early 
foreign examples are more common. 

Dr. Johnson derived the word from beak, and defined 
the beaker as a cup with a spout in form of a bird's beak, 
an opinion shared also by Skinner. Other authorities 
content themselves with saying that it was a kind of 
vessel probably derived from Flanders or Germany, 



* Inv. of Robert Morton, gent., | MS. 30,064, Arch. Jour. XXXIII. 
3 Henry VII., Brit. Mus. Add. I 321. 



310 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. x. 

without fixing its shape, and Forby would trace it to 
the Saxon bece, ordinary drinking vessels being made of 
beech wood. 

The learned de Laborde connects the English word 
by Jeer with the French buket, giving for authority cases 
in which the latter is used for a holy water bucket, 
and for a large cup of silver with cover, enamelled in 



No. 57.— BEAKER (1604), AT MERCERS' HALL, LONDON. 

the bottom. The vessels commonly called beakers are 
plain upright drinking cups, widening at the mouth and 
without spout or handle, somewhat resembling the tall 
glass tumblers used in modern times for soda-water and 
the like. The engraving is taken from those of the 
Mercers' Company, dated 1604-5 (No. 57). 

1348. Bikers, cups intended for ladies, see Beltz, " Memorials of the 

Older of the Garter," p. 385. 
1 346. ciphum meum biker argenti. Will of a canon of York. — Test. Ebor. 
1379. Tin hanap tour de beker. 



CHAP. X.] 



CAUDLE CUPS. 



311 



1399. two bikers of silver gilt, 29| oz., one other biker gilt, 16 oz. 

(amongst tbe stock of a jeweller's shop in Cheapside).* 
1446. yi bikkez diversarum sectarum, It m xiij bikkes cum ij cooperculis? 

It m xij bik'kez antiqua. — Inv. of Durham Priory. 
1582. A sylver becker. — Rich. "Wills. 
1604, 1605. Plain gilt beakers, each ornamented with three maidens' 

heads on the sides (see engraving No. 57). — Mercers' Company. 
1625. One white beaker. — Inv. of Edward Waring of Lea, esq. 



V-shaped cups on baluster stems were very common 
from about 1610 to 1660. They are very like tbe ordinary 
wine glasses of tbe present day, but are somewhat larger. 
Communion cups, as well as ordinary drinking cups, are 
often found of this shape. An example in pewter has 
been given in the chapter upon ecclesiastical plate, 
page 201. 

With these may be classed the very small hexagonal 
or octagonal grace cups on high stems that are found in 
the reign of James I. These are quite peculiar to that 
period. Specimens are preserved at Christ's Hospital, 
and by the Armourers' Company. They seem to occur 
in sets of three. 

Caudle cups and Porringers. These two classes of 
vessels, the former of which were often called " posset " 
cups or "posnets," include all the two-handled cups with 
covers and sometimes also trays or stands, that were so 
commonly used in the seventeenth and the earlier part 
of the following century. 

The former are somewhat pear-shaped, swelling into 
larger bowls at the base, and were used for drinking 
posset, which was milk curdled with wine and other 
additions, like our own white wine whey and treacle 
possets. The curd floated above the liquor, and, rising 



* It may be noted that his whole 
stock in trade consisted of 132 oz., 
valued at 2s. 4d an ounce. Riley's 



" Memorials of London and London 
Life." 



312 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. 



[chap. X. 



into the narrow part of the cup, could be easily removed, 
leaving the clear fluid at the bottom. Their fashion 
differs with their date. 

A well-known pattern, which came in at about the 
time of the Kestoration, is shown in- the engraving 
(No. 58). This is one of three such cups at Cloth- 
workers' Hall. Lincoln's Inn also possesses some, and 
there are many at Oxford where they are used in college 




No. 58. — CAUDLE CTJP (1654), AT CLOTHWORKEKS' HALL, LONDON. 



halls as beer cups. In the gayer times of the merry 
monarch, they are of more elaborate design, many are 
ornamented very boldly with flowers and monsters in 
repousse work. A beautiful example, of the year 1670, 
is engraved (No. 59), by the kind permission of its 
owner, Earl Bathurst. 

Porringers, on the other hand, were wider mouthed 
bowls, but with covers and handles like the last. Their 
less flowing shape necessitated a somewhat different 
style of treatment in the way of decoration, and they are 
sometimes found, in the middle of the century, octagonal 
or even twelve-sided, without any ornament 



CHAP. X.] 



CAUDLE CUPS. 



313 



From about 1665 to 1685 they are often decorated with 
flat applique leaves round the bottom of the bowl and 
the knop of the cover. These thin plates of metal, cut 
into various shapes and applied to the surface, have been 
called by Mr. Octavius Morgan "cut-card" ornament, 
for want of a better name, and it has been somewhat 
generally adopted. 




O. 59. — CAUDLE CUP (1670), IN THE POSSESSION OF EARL BATHURST. 



The engraving is of a very good specimen exhibited in 
the Loan Collection of 1862 by the late Paul Butler, Esq. 
(No. 60). The cover is furnished with three small pro- 
jecting handles that form feet if the cover is used as a 
tray or saucer for the cup, for which, as well as for a 
cover, it is adapted. Some bowls are decorated with 
the upright acanthus leaf found on the great tankards 
of the Merchant Taylors' Company in 1680, of which 
an engraving has been given, No. 54. This was much in 
vogue for a short time, say from 1675 to 1685. 

Another well-known but as short-lived style of decora- 
tion covered every thiog with Chinese figures in engraved 



314 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. 



[chap. X. 



work. The mania for Chinese porcelain which prevailed 
for a few years in the reign of William III., and affected 
even the queen herself, has been immortalised by the 
satirists of the day. It did not die out before the gold- 
smiths first and the potters following them had covered 
their wares with Chinese designs. Upon Elers ware 




No. 60. — roiutiNGER (1674). 



of about 1690 is found a whole series of representations 
illustrating the cultivation and use of the tea-plant, an 
old and a young viceroy of Canton, and the like. A 
vast quantity of plate was decorated in this way in the 
years 1682, 1683, and 1684, and a few pieces are found 
up to about 1690, but not much later. Amongst other 
specimens is the small gold cup found in the lake at 
Knowsley, and already mentioned as one of the few 
articles of gold exhibited at South Kensington in 1862. 
It was then catalogued as of "circa 1650. 1 ' This is surely 
too early, especially as the maker's mark, EL, is well 



CHAP. X.] 



POEEINGERS. 



315 



known, and agrees with the usual date of Chinese decora- 
tion, having been noted on plate from 1680 to 1693. 
It is fair however to say that the writer has not had a^ 
recent opportunity of examining the cup itself. 

A small tankard, with the same sort of engraving, 
is in the South Kensington Museum, but the barrel is of 
one year, the cover of the next, and the decoration ten 
or fifteen years later than either.* 

Last of all come the fluted porringers of the reign of 




Ko. 61. — FLUTED PORRINGER (1699). 



Queen Anne, of which it is only necessary to say that, as 
they have much attracted the attention of collectors, so it 
is to be feared that they have been manufactured by the 
cart-load. Fraudulent specimens would very often be 
detected by an assay, for they are all marked as made 
of the Britannia standard of silver, and many of them if 



* As of the Chinese period, but 
rather earlier than the kind of en- 
graving mentioned above, being of 
the year 1674, may be mentioned a 
set of three large silver vases, and 
two tall beakers, given to Horace 
Walpole by the Lady Betty Ger- 
main, and sold at the Strawberry 
Hill sale. They are of the form of 
the Chinese porcelain sets, which 



are sometimes arranged on the top 
of library book-cases, and are em- 
bossed all over with flowers. They 
are of great size ; the jars twenty 
inches high, and twelve inches in 
diameter, and the beakers fourteen 
inches high. They passed, through 
the hands of Messrs. Lambert, to 
the last Marquess of Breadalbane 
in 1857. 



316 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. x. 

tested would no doubt prove to be of silver of lower 
quality. Their period almost exactly coincides with the 
first quarter of the eighteenth century. An engraving is 
given of a good example selected from a large collection 
of these porringers in the possession of K. Temple 
Frere, Esq. (No. 61). 

Tumblers. These useful articles have been rather 
pushed out of their place in the chapter by the necessity 
of classing together porringers and caudle cups ; for they 
are decidedly more ancient than the last mentioned class 
of porringers. They are so called because they will not 
lie, on their side but will only rest on the bottom, tum- 
bling or rolling from side to side like a tumbler, till they 
steady themselves in an upright position. The name has 
somewhat improperly been transferred to our flat-bottomed 
drinking glasses without feet. These cups are frequently 
met with from about 1670 onwards, and are used in some 
of the colleges at Oxford for drinking beer. They were 
sometimes called bowls, and, being of different sizes, the 
larger ones were called beer bowls, and the smaller wine 
bowls in old inventories. 



PLATES, 

Plates of silver or silver-gilt were used both at 
dinner and at what is now called dessert. The latter 
are by far the more ancient. The " conceit es after 
dinner," such as "appels, nuts or cream e,"* were no doubt 
placed upon them. 

Silver " spice-plates " are mentioned in the inventories 
of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries: one of the 
earliest is of a "plate argenti pro speciebus imponendis" 



* Hugh Rhodes' "Boke of Nurture," 1577. 



chap, x.] PLATES. 317 

in a list dated 1358 * Two or three known sets of small 
silver plates, parcel gilt and elaborately engraved, are of 
the middle of the sixteenth century. One of these sets 
consisting of twelve plates, the borders engraved with 
medallions, heads, flowers and other ornaments of the 
Elizabethan period, and the centres with the labours of 
Hercules after Aldegraver, was sold by auction at Messrs. 
Christie and Mansons rooms in the summer of 1876 for 
£480, a price far below their real value. They are of 
the year 1567, and once belonged to the Cottons of 
Connington, one of whom was that great antiquary, Sir 
Eobert Cotton, Bart., the collector of the Cottonian 
Library. They were oddly enough catalogued for sale 
as of 1667, and as engraved by Magdalene de Passe, 
one of the celebrated family of engravers of that name. 
The monogrammatic signature of PM or MP, which 
some of the set bear, signify either Martin Poeham, 
who is known to have worked after Aldegraver's designs, 
or Pierre Maes (otherwise Maas). They are engravers of 
equal fame, and to one or other may safely be ascribed 
this well known mark, although for want of evidence to 
determine to which of them it should be finally allotted, 
it is described as that of " un graveur inconnu " in the 
best dictionaries. Other engravings by the same hand 
and bearing the same mark are dated 1577. These very 
plates had supplied Mr. Octavius Morgan many years 
ago with the shape of the small old English fe proper to 
the year 1567-8. 

Similar plates of the years 1568-9 and 1569-70 have 
also been noted by Mr. Morgan, as in the possession 
some years ago of Messrs. Thomas of New Bond Street. 
Dinner plates of silver with shaped and gadrooned edge, 



* Test. Ebor. 1358. 



318 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. x. 

are found commonly in the last and sometimes of the 
preceding century, replacing the simple pewter of an 
earlier generation. 

Noeth. Deep must be the foundation and strong the superstructure, 
of that friendship which can sustain the shock of seeing its object eating 
mock- turtle soup from a plate of imitation silver. 

Shepheed. Meaner than pewter ! * 

There was none of Professor Wilson's " imitation silver," 
it is true, to fall back upon in the seventeenth century, 
but pewter was becoming in the reign of Charles II. too 
mean for the times, and the only substitute was silver 
itself. Dishes and dinner plates of this more costly 
material accordingly began to make their appearance, 
very early examples being the plates of the year 1686-7, 
to be found amongst the family plate of the Earls 
Bathurst. An enormous number, with dishes to match, 
were made by Paul Lamerie for the Mansion House in 
1737-8, and are still to be seen there. A very similar 
set of 1 732-3, bearing the maker's mark known as Paul 
Crespin's, belongs to the Lord Hotham. 



POEKS. 

These are a modern invention compared with spoons ; 
so much so that, to avoid doing our ancestors grave in- 
justice, we shall be glad to agree with the learned de 
Laborde, who, speaking of forks, and remembering that 
the exquisites of Greece and Eome all ate with their 
fingers, concluded that the use of forks at meals is rather 
a conventional matter than a test by which to measure 
the advance of civilization. 

Certain it is that no mention of forks is to be found in 



* Noctes Ambrosianso, No. XXXI. 



chap, x.] FOKKS. 319 

our fifteenth century treatises on etiquette and manners, 
whilst in early wills and inventories no forks ever occur, 
except now and then a single one mounted in a crystal 
or other ornamental handle, and used for eating pears or 
green ginger. 

The Boke of Kervyng directing the servitor to "laye 
your knyves and set your brede one lofe by an other 
your spones and your napkyns fayre f olden besyde your 
brede," would have told him where to dispose his forks, 
had there been any ; and the Boke of Nurture in 1577 
would have included them in its caution against the 
improper use of the knife which runs as follows : — 

Pick not thy teeth with thy knyfe 

nor with thy fyngers end, 
But take a stick, or some cleane thyng 

then doe you not offende. 

Again, the Young Children's Book only warns its 
readers not to play with " spone trencher ne knyffe," 
not adding fork. 

The common use of the fork was introduced from 
Italy about the beginning of the seventeenth century, 
and a well-known passage from Coryat's " Crudities " has 
been often cited as the first mention of forks in England. 
That gentleman, describing in 1611 his travels in Europe, 
notes the "little fork" used by the Italians instead of 
their fingers when they cut meat out of the dish, and 
records how he was called furcifer by a friend when he 
continued the use of his fork on his return home. Their 
Italian origin is also referred to by Ben Jonson, who, 
speaking of the manners of Venice, puts into the mouth 
of Sir Politick Would-be— 

. . . Then you must learn the use 

And handling of your silver fork at meals. 

Volpone or the Fox, Act IV. Sc. I. 



320 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. x. 

This was written in 1607, but a few years later (1616) 
the same writer speaks of them as known in England. 

Sledge. Forks ! what be they ? 
Meee. The laudable use of forks, 

Brought into custom here, as they are in Italy, 

To the sparing of napkins. 

Massinger too, about the same time, recognises the use of 
the fork in polite society : — 

I have all that's requisite 

To the making up of a signior . . . 

.... and my silver fork 

To convey an olive neatly to my mouth. 

The Great Duke of Florence, Act III. 

From this time their employment became more 
general, and a fork was added to the knife and spoon 
which most persons seem to have carried about with 
them for their own use wherever they went. The same 
knife, fork, and spoon no doubt served for the whole 
meal, perhaps wiped and sometimes washed, for few 
families had any great number, especially of forks. A 
set of twelve forks amongst the domestic plate at 
Cotehele was made in 1667, and it is believed that these 
are the oldest now in use. They were probably all that 
the Sir Kichard Edgcumbe of that day possessed, and 
were no doubt considered an unusually handsome 
equipage. They have plain flat handles like the spoons 
of the period, of which the spoon No. 2 in the engraving 
given at page 228 is an example, but the tops are not so 
much cleft, the two side projections being rounded off 
like the central one. One of the handles is lengthened 
out to form a marrow spoon. Another such set is 
mentioned by Viscount Gort in " Notes and Queries/' as 
bought by one of his ancestors, in 1698, of a Dublin 



chap, x.] FORKS. 321 

silversmith named Bolton, whose account for them was 
as follows: — "For 12 forks, wt. 30 oz. 14 dwt. at 6s. 
lOd. per oz., £10 10s." 

When the custom arose, most likely in the early part 
of last century, of the host supplying his own table with 
the plate requisite for the use of his guests, a much 
larger quantity was needed, and more and more as time 
went on. Mr. Octavius Morgan suggests that a great 
deal of old fashioned, unused plate, ewers and basins 
and the like, was, about a century ago, melted down to 
supply this new want ; and that the magnificent services 
of gilt and silver plate which were then made for royal 
and other tables were provided in this way. An 
enormous quantity of metal must have been required to 
provide silver for the number of plates, dishes, spoons 
and forks, which were made by Eundell and Bridge, 
the G-arrards, and other firms their immediate prede- 
cessors, and the spoon and fork makers of a hundred 
years ago; and, as at that period old plate was not 
valued, everyone was glad to change antiquated silver 
articles for those of a newer and more useful fashion. 
This will partly account for the comparatively small 
quantity of ancient plate to be found in the plate rooms 
and treasuries of the present day, 

The earliest forks are three-pronged, but about the 
middle of the last century four-pronged forks came into 
fashion ; the earliest four-pronged forks known to the 
writer are of the years 1726 and 1727, and are at 
Narford Hall, Norfolk, but they were not common before 
the reign of George the Third. 

Notes of Forks, Arranged in Chronological Order. 

1. 1300. unum par cultellorum cum manicis argenti aymellat' cum 
uno furchetto de Cristallo. — Wardrobe Accounts, 28 Edw. I. 

Y 



322 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. x. 

2. 1304. duo furchetti arg' deaur' et duo manubriae de cristallo. — "Ward- 

robe Accounts, 32 Edw. I. 

3. 1349. Henrico filio meo . . . dimidiam duodenam furcarum 

argenti deauratarum ; Margaretse filise mese . . . duas 
furcas argenti deauratas. (Will of Henry Lord Percy) — 
Test. Ebor. 

4. 1395. unum instrumentum argenteum pro zinzibo. — Idem. 

5. 1399. j furche darg' poisant xv unc' di'. 

It ra ij furches p' zinzibr' v't darg' ennorrez. 

It m j fourche de beryle garnis darg' enorrez debrusez. 

It m j large furche d'arg' endorrez p' ging r vert pois vi 

unc t di. 
It m j large fourche en p'tie endorrez meindre pois j unc'. — 

Treasury Accounts, 1 Hen. IV. 

6. 1443. ij forkes for grene ginger, 

7. 1448. j grate arg' pro zinzebro. 

8. 1463. my silver forke for grene ginger.— Bury Wills. 

9. 1487. ij gynger forkes (Inv. of Kobert Morton, gent.). — Brit. Mus. 

Add. MS., 30.064. 

10. 1498. a forke for grene gynger (Will of Anne Lady Scrope). — Test. 

Ebor. 

11. 1550. a prange of silver for grene gynger. — Will of Sir John 

Trefiry, Knt. 

12. 1515. a silver spone wt a forke. — Norf. Archaeology. 

13. 1523. Itm too forkes with ther spones doble gylte to eete grene 

gynger with all, 
Itm one fork with hys spone parcell gylte to eete green 

gynger with all. 
Itm a forke of sylver doble gylte graved with lybertes on 

the end. — Inv. of Lady Hungerford, attainted 14 Hen. VIII. 

14. 1542. a longe forke of silver for sokett (Will of Kateryne Ctess of 

Northumberland). — Coll, Top. et Gen. 

15. 1554. spone wt a forke in the end. 

16. 1567. one longe silver spone with a forke in the end double gilt. 

17. 1615. a knife a spoone and forke of a greene and white stone 

garnished with gold. (Inv. of Duke of Somerset.) — Loseley 
MSS. 

For more modern specimens see Chronological List, 
Appendix A, 1667, 1715, 1727, 1737, 1738. 



chap, x.] MONTEITHS. 323 

MONTEITHS. 

The Monteith was a punch-bowl which seems to have 
come into fashion with the new standard silver of 1697. 
It had a movable rim, ornamented around the top with 
escallops or else battlements to form indentations, in 
which the glasses were placed with the feet outwards 
for the purpose of bringing them into the room without 
breaking. The bowl was of course brought in empty, 
the punch being made in the room, each gentleman 
fancying he had an especial talent for concocting the 
beverage, and a silver ladle and lemon-strainer were 
brought in with it. When the glasses were taken out, 
the bowl was placed on the table, the rim was removed, 
and the process of punch-making commenced. The 
pierced bowl of the old-fashioned wine-strainers (in 
general use when gentlemen decanted their own port 
wine in the parlour) served as a lemon strainer, there 
being generally a small flat hook at the side of it, by 
which it was appended to the side of the bowl. This 
particular pattern of punch bowl was so called after a 
gentleman of fashion, of the name of Monteith, who 
was remarkable for wearing a scalloped coat. 

' ' New things produce new words, and so Monteith 
Has by one vessel saved himself from Death." 

King's " Art of Cookery." 

Besides the characteristic rim, their fluted bowls 
should be noted, their gadrooned bases or feet, and the 
large rings hanging from lions' mouths which are almost 
invariable ; the only exceptions known to the writer 
being the very earliest and the very latest specimens he 
has ever seen ; the former has no handles, but all of the 
other characteristics of the true Monteith ; it is of 1696, 

Y 2 



324 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE, 



[CHAP. X. 



and is the property of the Fishmongers' Company ; and 
the latter, which was given to the Cloth workers in 1718, 
by Sir John Bull, has bulls'-head handles instead of 
lions' heads, the variation being, no doubt, adopted in 
allusion to the donor's name. The engraving (No. 62) 
is of a Monteith in the possession of the Vintners' Com- 
pany. It is of the year 1 702. 




No. 62. — MONTEITH (1702) AT VINTNERS' HALL, LONDON. 



The following references clearly mark the period of 
their introduction, and comprise every Monteith that 
the writer has had the opportunity of examining ; but 
to these must be added a good and very early specimen 
noted by Mr. Morgan, the property of the corporation 
of Newark ; its movable rim is shaped like the top of 
a chess castle, and it bears an inscription as follows : 
"This Monteith and thirteen cups were given by the 
honourable Nicholas Saunderson of the Corporation of 



chap, x.] CANDLESTICKS. 325 

Newark upon Trent, A.r>. 1689." See Appendix A, 1696, 
1698, 1699 (three specimens), 1700 (two specimens), 
1702, 1707, 1713, 1716, and 1718. 



CANDELABRA, CANDLESTICKS, AND SCONCES. 

These are occasionally, but not very frequently, men- 
tioned in wills, accounts, and other documents of every 




No. 63. — CANDLESTICK, CIRCA 1680. 



period. There is, however, but little to be said about 
them that could not equally well be gathered from the 
subjoined lists. No really ancient specimens are known 
to exist in the precious metals, the earliest now to 



326 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. x. 

be found being the candlesticks shaped as fluted Doric 
columns which are found in the reign of Charles II. (No. 
63). They have square bases, which are sometimes 
cut off at the corners as to become octagonal, and have 
also a projection to match the base, but smaller, and a 



No. 64. — CANDLESTICK (1735). 

convenient distance above it, to serve as a knop by 
which to hold or carry them. 

The fashionable candlestick of Queen Anne's reign 
was equally simple, with a baluster stem, terminating 
in a square base, which has the corners set back and 
rounded. Additional ornament was gradually added to 
the plain baluster. An engraving of a candlestick of 1735 
illustrates a transition (No. 64), after which, at about 



chap, x.] CANDLESTICKS. 327 

the middle of the last century, the baluster stem gave 
way to the Corinthian column pattern, which was the 
first that is found with removable nozzles, and these in 
turn were replaced by candlesticks ornamented with 
festoons of flowers hanging between bosses or medallions 
which bear masks or other devices of the fashion in- 
troduced by those who designed for silversmiths and 
potters of the time of Josiah Wedgwood. 

Silver sconces are very seldom seen ; there are good ex- 
amples at Sudeley Castle, the back plate being repousse and 
each having a single branch light ending in a tulip shaped 
cup. They are of 1668. The writer has failed to find 
a single entry of sconces in old English wills ; but it may 
be as well to say that " un chandelier d argent blanc, en 
maniere d'esconce," occurs in the inventory of Charles V., 
which is ascribed by de Laborde to the year 1380. 

Notes of Caotdelabra, etc., Arranged m Chronological Order. 

1. 1324. Chaundelabres. — Indenture of plate, 17 Edw. III. 

2. — vi candelabr' arg. alb. et deaur. inpede. — Wardrobe Accounts 

temp. Edw. III. 

3. 1346. duos candelabras argenti. (Will of a Canon of York). — Test. 

Ebor. 

4. 1400. candelabra. (In v. of an Archdeacon of Richmond.)— Idem. 

5. 1438. an hond candilstikke. — Treasury Inv. 16 Henry VI. 

6. 1443. chaundeliers of silver. (Will of Sir Hugh Willoughby).— Test. 

. Ebor. 

7. 1453. ij candilsticks of silver for qwerios parcell gilt. (Will of John 

Lord Scrope). — Idem. 

8. 1458. ij rounde chaundelers of silver, w* pykes. (Will of Sir Thos. 

Che worth) . — Idem. 

9. 1527. four chaundelers, gilt prykettes, for a table, ciij oz. (Inv. of 

Henry Eitzroy, Duke of Eichmond.) — Camden Society. 

10. 1572. vi candlesticks. — Inv. of Thos. Lee of Marton, co. Bucks. 

11. 1625. one small silver candlesticke. — Inv. of Edward Waring of 

Lea. , 

For more modern examples, see Appendix A, 1668, 
1685, 1690, 1699, 1715, 1716, 1721, 1734, 1735, 1759, 
1775. 



828 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. 



[CHAP. X. 



TOILET SEEYICES. 
The luxury of the later years of the Stuarts is suitably 
illustrated by the rich toilet services which are one of its 
creations. They came into fashion in the Chinese period 
of which mention has been made, and more than one set 
is found decorated in that style. They consist of a 




No. 65.— TOILET BOX (1682). 



number of pieces usually gilt, a mirror with silver frame, 
candlesticks, snuffers and tray, pincushion, tazze, boxes 
for trinkets and soap, sometimes a basin and ewer, and 
a variety of other articles. Such sets are known of the 
years 1681, 1682, and 1683, the Berners set, and the 
beautiful service belonging to Sir C. Trevelyan, Bart., 
being both of them of the latter year. Somewhat later 
ones were exhibited at South Kensington in 1862. One 
of these earlier sets had lain for generations forgotten in 



chap, x.] CASTORS AND CRUET-STANDS. 329 

the cellars of the Bank of England, where it had once 
upon a time been deposited for safe custody, and came 
to light on the falling to pieces from age of the case 
containing it, but long after all record of its owners had 
been lost. Heraldic or other evidence was, however, 
forthcoming, which enabled the authorities to restore it 
to the descendants of the original owners. It is very 
possible that other unknown treasures remain in the 
same repository. A toilet box from a service of the year 
1682 is given as a good specimen of engraving in the 
Chinese style (No. 65). 



CASTOES AND CRUET-STANDS. 

Of these the former first occur at the commencement 
of the last century, or a few years earlier, and are occa- 
sionally found of great size. The larger ones must have 
been intended as standing pieces for the decoration of side- 
boards, but it would be difficult to produce legal proof of 
the genuineness of some of the specimens that have changed 
hands of late years. The natural tendency of a demand 
to create a corresponding supply should never be forgotten 
by the plate collector any more than by the economist. 

One of the earliest cruet-stands known is of plain 
massive silver with five rings and central handle, the 
rings containing two glass cruets with plain silver caps 
to slip over the necks by way of stoppers, and three 
shaped castors of silver with pierced tops for sugar, 
pepper, &c. — one large, and two to match of smaller 
size. They are of much the same fashion as the sets of 
three castors so often seen, of dates ranging from 1720 
to 1770, but they are of plainer fashion than more 
modern examples. This cruet-stand is by Pyne, made 
in 1706, and is the property of Lord Tredegar. The 



330 OLD ENGLISH PLATE. [chap. x. 

separate castors above mentioned seem to have formerly 
formed part of the fittings of cruet-stands. See Appendix 
A, 1706, 1733, 1734, 1758, 1775. 



TEA AND COEEEE SERVICES, KETTLES, ETC. 

Tea and coffee must have been well known in England 
many years before we find silver tea-pots or coffee-pots 
in common use. The most ancient tea-pot known to the 
writer was exhibited by the late Sir W. Holburne, Bart., 
in 1862, and a very fine one it was, of chased rock- work, 
vine leaves, and grapes. It bore the London hall-marks 
for 1697. This is also about the date of the first earthen- 
ware tea-pots. Very few are found for the next twenty 
years, but a great number of both tea and coffee-pots, tea 
caddies, and kettles were made in the reigns of George I. 
and George II., at first of very plain design, but after- 
wards more freely ornamented with chasing and repousse 
work. 

The earliest kettles are globular, either quite plain, or 
with a little engraving ; sometimes they are fluted so as 
to resemble melons or gourds. They are always on 
openwork stands, with feet ; and to these, spirit lamps, 
often of a later date, are fitted. Tea caddies are not 
commonly found till the time of George II. ; but all 
through that reign sets of two caddies and a basin fitted 
into shagreen cases were very fashionable. Some of 
them afford good examples of chased flowers and foliage, 
which is very sharply executed in high relief. 

There is no better example of the melon-shaped tea 
kettle than one in the royal collection at Windsor Castle 
which has been reproduced for the South Kensington 
Museum in copper gilt, and may be seen there. It 
stands in a triangular tray, and is of the year 1732. 



chap, x.] CAKE BASKETS AND EPERGNES. 331 

Later in the century urns succeeded to kettles ; many 
of them are of the pointed oval shape then so popular, 
and they are usually chased or engraved with festoons 
and medallions of the period. 



CAKE BASKETS AND EPEKGNES. 

These are classed together because the former often 
formed the central portion of the latter, and they are 




No. 6Q. — CAKE BASKET (1731), BY PAUL LAMEEIE. 

of precisely similar style of workmanship. They are 
objects of considerable importance amongst the plate 
collections of the last century, and great taste and skill 
were expended upon their production. Most of them 
were made between 1730 and 1780. An early basket 
of a design peculiar to Paul Lamerie, is engraved (No. 
Q6) by permission of J. C. Dent, Esq., of Sudeley Castle, 
who acquired it at the Strawberry Hill sale. The 



332 



OLD ENGLISH PLATE. 



[CHAT. X. 



bottom is engraved with the arms of Walpole, encircled 
with the Garter, but without a coronet. It will be 
remembered that Sir Kobert Walpole enjoyed the rare 
distinction of the Garter whilst still a commoner. This 
cake basket is of imitation wicker work, with handles of 
the same. 

To this, which seems to have been a favourite pattern, 




No. 67. — CAKE BASKET (1749) BY PAUL LAMEHIE. 



succeeded the pierced baskets ornamented also with chas- 
ing and repousse work, which were very common in 
the middle of the century. The writer has seen more 
than twenty-five, most of them of excellent design and 
finish. One of the finest is in the possession of W. A. 
Tyssen- Amherst, Esq. ; it is one of the latest and most 
finished specimens of the work of Paul Lamerie, being 



chap, x.] MACES. 333 

of the year 1749. An engraving of this is given 
(No. 67) ; the chasing of the insects is of the very highest 
excellence. 

The piercing of the later baskets is sometimes rather 
rude, the holes being merely punched out of the sheet of 
silver without much additional ornament except some 
intervening rows of small punched bosses. 

During the last quarter of the century baskets were 
not pierced, but are solid and either fluted or lobed like 
escallops, or ornamented with chased bands of foliage. 

These pierced baskets were often the crowning orna- 
ment of epergnes, or centre pieces for table decoration ; 
and in this case are accompanied by a number of smaller 
baskets of the same design as the large one, all of which 
could be detached from the branched stand which sup- 
ported them, and handed with the fruits or sweet-meats 
they were made to contain. 

Many examples are noted in Appendix A. 



MACES. 

A notice of English plate would be incomplete with- 
out a few words about maces, although they are not often 
for sale, and are very seldom hall-marked. 

The City of London with its various wards can show 
as many as thirty, but none of them so ancient as some 
of those in the possession of provincial corporations : two 
of the very oldest being at Hedon. Somewhat more 
modern, but still unspoiled by the addition of any arched 
crown, are the pair which will be found at the end of this 
chapter. They belong to the little town of Winchcombe, 
amongst the Cotswold hills in Gloucestershire. The 
arched crown is not often found before the reign of 
Charles II. In many cases crowns have been added to 



NO. 68.— MACE OE WARD OF CHEAP, LONDON (1625). 



chap, x.] MACES. 335 

earlier maces, and they are all much alike. The engrav- 
ing (No. 68) is of the earliest of the City of London 
maces ; it belongs to the ward of Cheap, and is a good 
example of a mace of the time of Charles I., with a more 
modern crown. This addition was made in 1678, at the 
request of the Ward, as one of the inscriptions upon it 
tells. 

It will also be noticed that the arches spring from a 
narrow band, which is evidently itself an addition also. 
The remainder of the bowl with its cresting which has 
been mutilated to make room for the upper band, 
together with the shaft, give a good idea of the earlier 
maces. When the City maces were exhibited at the 
Society of Antiquaries in 1860, this one was selected 
for engraving by Mr. Octavius Morgan, because it so 
admirably illustrated the changes which maces under- 
went at various times. 

The bowls are usually ornamented with royal badges 
that fix their date, and sometimes are so fashioned as to 
unscrew from the stems and to fasten on to feet so as to 
form drinking cups, the arched crowns also being made 
removable to serve as covers. A standing cup called 
the " Godwin cup," preserved at Berkeley Castle, is 
formed of a mace head of the time of James I., mounted 
as a drinking cup in this way. 

As an example of a mace of exceptional form is given 
an engraving of the mace of the Tower Ward, London. 
Like other maces, its original fashion has been altered by 
additions from time to time. The tower head is of the 
reign of Charles II., but no part of it is much older than 
that. 

Certain sea-port towns have maces formed as silver 
oars, the symbol of their water-bailiff's jurisdiction : 
Kochester and Southampton are amongst the number. 



No. 69.— MACE OF TOWER WARD, LONDON, TEMP. CHARLES II. 



CHAP. X.] 



MACES. 



337 



In some cases the oar is concealed within the stem when 
not required for use. 




No. 70. — MACES AT WINCHCOMBE, CO. GLOUCESTER. 



APPENDIX A. 

CHRONOLOGICAL LIST 

OF 

THE ABTICLES OF PLATE 

WHICH HAVE SERVED AS AUTHORITY FOR 

THE CONSTEUCTION OF THE TABLES OF DATE-LETTERS 
USED AT GOLDSMITHS' HALL, LONDON", 

AND FOR THE MAKERS' MARKS. 



In the following list many notable pieces of plate will be found tinder 
dates differing from those which have been assigned to them in previous 
catalogues. For instance, not a single one of the articles presented by 
Abp. Parker to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, appears under the 
date given to it in Chaffers' "Hall Marks on Plate."* The various 
objects of which that important Collection is composed are entered in the 
present Catalogue as of the years 1515, 1545, 1562, 1566, 1569, and 
1571 ; and at each entry a note has been added, which will enable the 
reader to test for himself the sufficiency of the grounds upon which such 
well-known specimens have now been dated afresh. The notes will also 
serve to indicate the sort of errors which are apt to occur in such lists as 
the following, and to illustrate the difficulty of compiling an account 
that shall be even comparatively free from them. This difficulty must 
be pleaded in excuse for any mistake that may have crept into this 
Appendix, notwithstanding the great care that has been taken to ensure 
its accuracy. 

* 5th Edition, London, 1875. 



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Apr. a.] 



XVIIIth CENTURY. 



393 



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APPENDIX B. 

IMPROVED 

TABLES OF THE DATE-LETTEES 

USED BY ALL THE 

ENGLISH, SCOTCH, AND IRISH ASSAY HALLS, 
FROM THE EARLIEST TIMES. 



Note. — It must be observed that the following tables of marks should 
be consulted by the light of the chapters that relate to them ; and it is 
thought better to refer the reader to those chapters, and especially to the 
tabular sheet appended to each, than to encumber the tables now to be 
given with a number of minute notes. For example, the tables give the 
marks as they are found on silver plate, and on gold plate until quite 
recently ; but the marks now used to distinguish gold plate may be seen 
at a glance in the tabular sheets given at page 59 for London plate, and 
at pages 117, 132, 133, 150, 159, for Provincial, Scotch, and Irish gold 
wares respectively. 



CHARACTERS OF THE ALPHABETS OF DATE-LETTERS 

TJSED BY GOLDSMITHS' COMPANY OF LONDON. 



I. 


1438 to 1458, 


II. 


1458 to 1478. 


III. 


1478 to 1198. 


IV. 


1498 to 1518. 


V. 


1518 to 1538, 


VI. 


1538 to 1558, 


VII. 


1558 to 1578. 


VIII. 


1578 to 1598. 


IX. 


1598 to 1618. 


X. 


1618 to 1638. 


XI. 


1638 to 1658, 


XII. 


1658 to 1678. 


XIII. 


1678 to 1696. 


XIV. 


1696 to 1716. 


XV. 


1716 to 1736. 


XVI. 


1736 to 1756. 


XVII. 


1756 to 1776. 


XVIII. 


1776 to 1796. 


XIX. 


1796 to 1816. 


XX. 


1816 to 1836. 


XXI. 


1836 to 1856. 


XXII. 


1856 to 1876, 


XXIII. 


1876 to 1896. 



-Lombardic, simple. 

Ditto, external cusps. 
Ditto, double cusps. 
-Black letter, small. 
-Lombardic. 

-Eoman letter, and other capitals. 
-Black letter, small. 
-Eoman letter, capitals. 
-Lombardic, external cusps. 
-Italic letter, small. 
-Court hand. 
-Black letter, capitals. 

Ditto, small. 
-Court hand. 
-Eoman letter, capitals. 

Ditto, small. 
-Old English or black letter, capitals. 
-Eoman letter, small. 

Ditto, capitals. 

Ditto, small. 
-Old English or Black letter, capitals. 

Ditto, small. 

-Eoman letter, capitals. 



The form of the leopard's head crowned, and of the lion passant, afford 
such material aid in determining the date of a piece of plate, and in 
enabling the letters of one alphabet to be readily distinguished from those 
of another, that engravings have been given of those marks at the foot of 
each alphabet. The Old English J5 of 1695 may by their aid be instantly 
distinguished from the same letter in Alphabet VII., the Eoman capitals 
of Alphabet VIII. from those of Alphabet XV. , and so on. It will be seen 
that in this way the addition of the leopard's head and lion's head erased 
render any small and accidental inaccuracies in the letters and their 
shields of comparatively little importance. 



APP. B.] 



LONDON DATE LETTEES. 



397 



I. 



HY. VI. 

1438-9 



1439-0 
1440-1 
1441-2 
1442-3 
1443-4 
1444-5 
1445-6 
1446-7 
1447-8 
1448-9 
1449-0 
1450-1 
1451-2 
1452-3 
1453-4 
1454-5 
1455-6 
1456-7 
1457-8 



II. 



1458-9 
1459-0 
1460-1 

ED. IV. 

1461-2 
1462-3 
1463-4 
1464-5 
1465-6 
1466-7 
1467-8 
1468-9 
1469-0 
1470-1 
1471-2 
1472-3 
1473-4 
1474-5 
1475-6 
1476-7 
1477-8 



As before. 



III. 



# 



1478-9 
1479-0 
1480-1 
1481-2 

1482-3 

m. III. 

1483-4 

1484-5 

HY. VII. 

1485-6 
1486-7 
1487-8 
1488-9 
1489-0 
1490-1 
1491-2 
1492-3 
1493-4 
1494-5 
1495-6 
1496-7 
1497-8 



IV. 



I 
i 



As before. 



t 



n 

* 



1498-9 
1499-0 
1500-1 
1501-2 
1502-3 
1503-4 
1504-5 
1505-6 
1506-7 
1507-8 
1508-9 

HY. VIII. 

1509-0 
1510-1 
1511-2 
1512-3 
1513-4 
1514-5 
1515-6 
1516-7 
1517-8 



As before. 



1. Leopard's head crowned. 



MARKS. 

2. Maker's mark. 



3. Date letter. 



398 



LONDON DATE LETTERS. 



[app. b. 



V. 



1518-9 
1519-0 
1520-1 
1521-2 
1522-3 
1523-4 
1524-5 
1525-6 
1526-7 
1527-8 
1528-9 
1529-0 

1530-1 
1531-2 

1532-3 

1533-4 

1534-5 

1535-6 
1536-7 

1537-8 



VI. 



H 



As before. 



© 



m 



1538-9 
1539-0 
1540-1 
1541-2 
1542-3 
1543-4 
1544-5 
1545-6 
1546-7 

ED. VI. 

1547-8 
1548-9 
1549-0 
1550-1 
1551-2 
1552-3 

MARY. 

1553-4 
1554-5 
1555-6 
1556-7 

1557-8 



VII. 




m 






ELIZAB. 

1558-9 



1559-0 

1560-1 

1561-2 

1562-3 
1563-4 

1564-5 
1565-6 
1566-7 
1567-8 
1568-9 
1569-0 
1570-1 

1571-2 
1572-3 
1573-4 
1574-5 
1575-6 
1576-7 
1577-8 



VIII. 



m 






m 



m 





m 



m 



1578-9 
1579-0 
1580-1 
1581-2 

1582-3 

1583-4 

1584-5 
1585-6 
1586-7 

1587-8 

1588-9 
1589-0 

1590-1 

1591-2 

1592-3 

1593-4 

1594-5 

1595-6 

1596-7 

1597-8 



As before. 



MARKS. 

1. Leopard's head crowned. 2. Maker's mark. 3. Date letter. 4. Lion passant (from 1545). 

Note.— The Date letter was first put in a regular escutcheon in 1561. 



APP. B.] 



LONDON DATE LETTEES. 



399 




MARKS. 
1. Leopard's head crowned. 2. Maker's mark. 3. Date letter. 



4. Lion passant. 



400 



LONDON DATE LETTERS. 



[app. b. 



XII 



678-9 
679-0 
680-1 
681-2 
682-3 
683-4 
684-5 

JAMES II. 

685-6 
686-7 

687-8 
688-9 

689-0 
690-1 
691-2 
692-3 
693-4 
694-5 

¥M. III. 

695-6 
696-7 

May to Mar. 



XIY. 



m 



31 






& 

m 



696-7 

Mar. to May 



698-9 



699-0 



700-1 



701-2 

ANNE. 

702-3 



703-4 
704-5 
705-6 

706-7 
707-8 
708-9 
709-0 
710-1 
711-2 
712-3 
713-4 

GEO. I. 

714-5 
715-6 



XV. 



m 

SB 



w 



B 



m 



m 



716-7 
717-8 
718-9 
719-0 
720-1 
721-2 
722-3 
723-4 
724-5 
725-6 
726-7 

GEO. II. 

727-8 
728-9 
729-0 
730-1 
731-2 
732-3 
733-4 
734-5 
735-6 



XVI. 



1736-7 
1737-8 
1738-9 
1739-0 
1740-1 
1741-2 
1742-3 
1743-4 
1744-5 
1745-6 
1746-7 
1747-8 
1748-9 
1749-0 
1750-1 
1751-2 
1752-3 
1753-4 
1754-5 
1755-6 



MARKS. 
1. Leopard's head crowned. 2. Maker's mark. 3. Date letter. 4. Lion passant. 
Note.— From March, 1696, to June, 1720, Britannia and Lion's head erased substituted 
for the Leopard's head crowned and the Lion passant, on silver. 



* From 1716—1720 as before. From 1720—1729 the punches are of uncertain shape ; some look like old 
damaged punches of before 1697 brought again into use. From 1729—1739 the punches were a plain oblong 
rect ingle for the lion passant, and a plain angular heraldic shield for the leopard's head crowned. 



APP. B.] 



LONDON DATE LETTERS. 



401 




MARKS. 
1, Leopard's head crowned. 2. Maker's mark. 3. Date letter. 
And (from 1784) 5. Sovereign's head. 
Note. — The leopard's head is without a crown after 



4. Lion passant. 
1823. 



D D 



402 



LONDON DATE LETTERS. 



[app. b. 



XXL 



2v 



# 



c 



1 



(B 



1836-7 

VICT. 

1837-8 



1838-9 

1839-0 

1840-1 

1841-2 

1842-3 

1843-4 

1844-5 

1845-6 

1846-7 

1847-8 

1848-9 

1849-0 



XXII. 






® 



1 


1850-1 


m 


1851-2 


IB) 


1852-3 


is; 


1853-4 


s; 


1854-5 


ffl 


1855-6 






As before. 



m 
® 
m 
m 



s 



1856-7 

1857-8 

1858-9 

1859-0 

1860-1 

1861-2 

1862-3 

1863-4 

1864-5 

1865-6 

1866-7 

1867-8 

1868-9 

1869-0 

1870-1 

1871-2 

1872-3 

1873-4 

1874-5 

1875-6 



XXIII. 



X 



IB 
E 



1876-7 

1877-8 

1878-9 

1879-0 
1880-1 



As before. 



As before. 



NOTE. 

Since 1697, if not 
earlier, the London 
marks have been of 
several sizes so as to 
suit large and small 
articles, and whilst 
the largest size of 
punch bears the 
marks as they are 
here given, the 
smaller sizes often 
have the letter, lion 
passant, or other 
mark, on a plain 
square or oblong 
with the corners 
slightly cut off ; 
sometimes, how- 
ever, they are a 
small edition of the 
full-sized marks. 



MARKS. 
1. Leopard's head. 2. Maker's mark. 3. Date letter. 
5. Sovereign's head. 



4. Lion passant. 



app. b.] '&LB YOEK DATE LETTEES, PEIOE TO 1701. 403 





1558-9 




1583-4 




1608-9 


w 


1633-4 




1559-0 




1584-5 




1609-0 


m 

© 


1634-5 




1560-1 




1585-6 




1610-1 


1635-6 




1561-2 




1586-7 




1611-2 


1636-7 




1562-3 




1587-8 




1612-3 




1637-8 




1563-4 




1588-9 




1613-4 


(D 


1638-9 




1564-5 




1589-0 




1614-5 




1639-0 




1565-6 




1590-1 


m 


1615-6 


(5 


1640-1 




1566-7 




1591-2 


i 


1616-7 




1641-2 


m 


1567-8 


i 


1592-3 




1617-8 




1642-3 




1568-9 




1593-4 




1618-9 




1643-4 




1569-0 




1594-5 


w 


1619-0 




1644-5 




1570-1 




1595-6 




1620-1 




1645-6 




1571-2 




1596-7 




1621-2 




1646-7 




1572-3 




1597-8 


w 


1622-3 




1647-8 


a 


1573-4 




1598-9 


m 


1623-4 




1648-9 


* 


1574-5 


i 


1599-0 




1624-5 




1649-0 




1575-6 




1600-1 




1625-6 




1650-1 




1576-7 




1601-2 


W 


1626-7 




1651-2 




1577-8 




1602-3 


1627-8 




1652-3 




1578-9 




1603-4 




1628-9 




1653-4 




1579-0 




1604-5 




1629-0 




1654-5 




1580-1 




1605-6 




1630-1 




1655-6 




1581-2 




1606-7 




1631-2 




1656-7 




1582-3 




1607-8 




1632-3 


m 


1657-8 




MAI 


IKS. 








1. c 


)ld York mark (see page 117). 


2. Maker' 


5 mark. 


3. Date 


letter. 



D D 2 



404 OLD YORK DATE LETTERS, PRIOR TO 1701. [app. b. 



1658-9 
1659-0 
1660-1 
1661-2 
1662-3 
1663-4 
1664-5 
1665-6 
1666-7 
1667-8 
1668-9 
1669-0 
1670-1 
1671-2 
1672-3 
1673-4 
1674-5 
1675-6 
1676-7 
1677-8 
1678-9 
1679-0 
1680-1 
1681-2 
1682-3 



IBS 

® 



1683- 


-4 


1684- 


-5 


1685- 


-6 


1686- 


-7 


1687-8 


1688- 


-9 


1689- 


-0 


1690- 


-1 


1691- 


-2 


1692- 


-3 


1693-4 


1694- 


-5 


1695- 


-6 


1696- 


-7 



MARKS. 
1. Old York mark (see page 117). 2. Maker's mark. 



3. Date letter. 



app. b.] OLD NOEWICH DATE LETTERS, PEIOE TO 1701. 405 





1564-5 




1584-5 




1604-5 




1624-5 


E 


1565-6 




1585-6 




1605-6 




1625-6 


IS 


1566-7 




1586-7 




1606-7 




1626-7 


na 


1567-8 




1587-8 




1607-8 




1627-8 


m 


1568-9 




1588-9 




1608-9 




1628-9 




1569-0 




1589-0 




1609-0 




1629-0 




1570-1 




1590-1 




1610-1 




1630-1 




1571-2 




1591-2 




1611-2 




1631-2 




1572-3 




1592-3 




1612-3 


$ 


1632-3 




1573-4 




1593-4 




1613-4 




1633-4 




1574-5 




1594-5 




1614-5 


© 


1634-5 




1575-6 




1595-6 




1615-6 




1635-6 




1576-7 




1596-7 




1616-7 


m 


1636-7 




1577-8 




1597-8 




1617-8 




1637-8 




1578-9 




1598-9 




1618-9 




1638-9 




1579-0 




1599-0 




1619-0 




1639-0 




1580-1 




1600-1 




1620-1 


w 


1640-1 




1581-2 




1601-2 




1621-2 




1641-2 




1582-3 




1602-3 




1622-3 




1642-3 




1583-4 




1603-4 




1623-4 




1643-4 



MARKS. 
1. Norwich mark (see page 117). 2. Maker's mark. 3. Date letter. . 

4. Double seeded rose crowned. 
Note.— This fourth mark is found in 1(532- 34- 36- 40, but not on the early Elizabethan 
specimens. 



406 OLD NORWICH DATE LETTERS, PRIOR TO 1701. [app. b. 





1644-5 




1664-5 




1684-5 






1645-6 
1646-7 




1665-6 
1666-7 




1685-6 
1686-7 




OLD 
CHESTER 




1647-8 




1667-8 




1687-8 


DATE 
LETTERS, 




1648-9 
1649-0 




1668-9 
1669-0 




1688-9 
1689-0 


1689—1697. 


A 


1689-0 




1650-1 




1670-1 




1690-1 


B 


1690-1 




1651-2 




1671-2 




1691-2 


C 


1691-2 




1652-3 




1672-3 


5 


1692-3 


D 


1692-3 




1653-4 




1673-4 




1693-4 


E 


1693-4 




1654-5 




1674-5 




1694-5 


F 


1694-5 




1655-6 




1675-6 




1695-6 


G 


1695-6 




1656-7 




1676-7 




1696-7 


H 


1696-7 




1657-8 




1677-8 






I 


1697-8 




1658-9 




1678-9 






















MARKS. 




1659-0 
1660-1 
1661-2 
1662-3 
1663-4 




1679-0 
1680-1 
1681-2 
1682-3 
1683-4 






1. City arms— 3 lions 

pass, dim., im- 
paled with 3 
garbs, also dim. 

2. City crest — a 

sword erect. 

3. Maker's mark. 

4. Date letter (cha- 

racter of alpha- 
bet unknown). 













MARKS. 
1. Norwich mark (see page 117). 2. Maker's mark. 3. Date letter. 

Note. — Some specimens of this period bear a rose-sprig and a crown on separate 
stamps ; others a seeded rose and a crown on separate stamps ; others again a seeded 
rose crowned, in addition to the above three marks. 



app. b.] MODEEN YOEK DATE LETTEES, 1787—1856. 



407 



® 


1787-8 


m 


1812-3 


© 


1837-8 




B 


1788-9 


b 


1813-4 


B 


1838-9 




C 


1789-0 


t 


1814-5 


C 


1839-0 




D 


1790-1 


* 


1815-6 


D 


1840-1 




E 


1791-2 


e 


1816-7 


E 


1841-2 




F 


1792-3 


t 


1817-8 


F 


1842-3 




G 


1793-4 


ff 


1818-9 


G 


1843-4 


REMARKS. 


H 


1794-5 


ft 


1819-0 


H 


1844-5 


In consequence of 
the loss of the Assay 


I 




> 








Office books, and the 


1795-6 


t 


1820-1 


I 


1845-6 


small amount of plate 


K 




k 








stamped at York, it 


1796-7 


1821-2 


K 


1846-7 


is impossible to give 














alphabets for the in- 


L 


1797-8 


I 


1822-3 


L 


1847-8 


terval between 1701 
and 1787. Roman 


M 


1798-9 


m 


1823-4 


M 


1848-9 


capitals of large size 
were used from 1701 


N 


1799-0 


it 


1824-5 


N 


1849-0 


to 1726, coupled with 
the marks for Britan- 















nia standard plate till 


1800-1 





1825-6 


O 


1850-1 


1720. The office did 














not work continu- 


P 


1801-2 


P 


1826-7 


P 


1851-2 


ously, and seems to 
have ceased to assay 


Q 


1802-3 


q 


1827-8 


Q 


1852-3 


about 1847, though 










plate was occasion- 


E 


1803-4 


r 


1828-9 


K 


1853-4 


ally stamped until 
1856. 


S 


1804-5 


55 


1829-0 


S 


1854-5 




T 


1805-6 


t 


1830-1 


T 


1855-6 




U 


1806-7 


u 


1831-2 


U 


1856-7 




V 


1807-8 


b 


1832-3 








w 


1808-9 


to 


1833-4 








X 


1809-0 


P 


1834-5 








Y 


1810-1 


V 


1835-6 








Z 


1811-2 


\ 


1836-7 














MARKS, 


1787—1856. 




1. Mode 


rn York mar 


v (see page 


132). 2. I 


eopard's lie 


ad crowned. 3. Maker's mark. 


4. 


Date letter. 


5. Lioi 


passant. 


And (fron 


1 1784) 6. Sovereign's head. 



408 



EXETER DATE LETTERS. 



[app. b. 



s 


1701-2 


a 


1725-6 


A 


1749-0 


A 


1773-4 


m 




1702-3 


b 


1726-7 


B 


1750-1 


B 


1774-5 


1703-4 


c 


1727-8 


C 


1751-2 


C 


1775-6 


m 


1704-5 


a 


1728-9 


D 


1752-3 


D 


1776-7 


E 


1705-6 


® 


1729-0 


E 


1753-4 


E 


1777-8 


Hi 


1706-7 


$ 


1730-1 


F 


1754-5 


F 


1778-9 


a 


1707-8 


g 


1731-2 


G 


1755-6 


G 


1779-0 


H 


1708-9 


h 


1732-3 


H 


1756-7 


H 


1780-1 


® 


1709-0 


i 


1733-4 


I 


1757-8 


I 


1781-2 


m 


1710-1 


k 


1734-5 


K 


1758-9 


I 


1782-3 


L 


1711-2 


1 


1735-6 


L 


1759-0 


K 


1783-4 


m 


1712-3 


m 


1736-7 


M 


1760-1 


L 


1784-5 


N 


1713-4 


n 


1737-8 


N 


1761-2 


M 


1785-6 


® 


1714-5 





1738-9 


O 


1762-3 


N 


1786-7 


P 


1715-6 


P 


1739-0 


P 


1763-4 


O 


1787-8 


Q 


1716-7 


1 


1740-1 


Q 


1764-5 


P 


1788-9 


(5 


1717-8 


m 


1741-2 


R 


1765-6 


q 


1789-0 




T 


1718-9 


s 


1742-3 


S 


1766-7 


r 


1790-1 


1719-0 


t 


1743-4 


T 


1767-8 


f 


1791-2 


m 


1720-1 


u 


1744-5 


U 


1768-9 


t 


1792-3 


w 


1721-2 


w 


1745-6 


W 


1769-0 


u 


1793-4 


X 


1722-3 


X 


1746-7 


X 


1770-1 


w 


1794-5 


Y 


1723-4 


y 


1747-8 


Y 


1771-2 


X 


1795-6 


Z 


1724-5 


® 


1748-9 


Z 


1772-3 


y 


1796-7 


1. Moder 

4. 

Note 

head cro 


n Exeter ma 
Date letter. 
— From 1701 
tvned and Li 


rk (see page 

5. Lion 

till 1720, E 

)n passant, 


MAI 

132). 2. ] 

passant, 
ritannia and 
on silver. 


.KS. 

leopard's h 
And (from 
Lion's hea< 


ead crowned 
1784) 6. So> 
1 erased inst 


3. Mak 
^ereign's he 
ead of the 


ir's mark. 

id. 

Leopard's 



APP. B.] 



EXETER DATE LETTEES. 



409 



® 


1797-8 


Q 


1817-8 


a 


1837-8 


A 


1857-8 


B 


1798-9 


b 


1818-9 


as 


1838-9 


B 


1858-9 


C 


1799-0 


c 


1819-0 


c 


1839-0 


C 


1859-0 


D 


1800-1 


d 


1820-1 


23 


1840-1 


D 


1860-1 


E 


1801-2 


e 


1821-2 


<B 


1841-2 


E 


1861-2 


F 


1802-3 


f 


1822-3 


$ 


1842-3 


F 


1862-3 


G 


1803-4 


g 


1823-4 


<B 


1843-4 


G 


1863-4 


H 


1804-5 


h 


1824-5 


1 


1844-5 


H 


1864-5 


I 


1805-6 


i 


1825-6 


S 


1845-6 


I 


1865-6 


K 


1806-7 


k 


1826-7 


E 


1846-7 


K 


1866-7 


L 


1807-8 


1 


1827-8 


% 


1847-8 


L 


1867-8 


M 


1808-9 


m 


1828-9 


M 


1848-9 


M 


1868-9 


N 


1809-0 


n 


1829-0 


& 


1849-0 


N 


1869-0 





1810-1 





1830-1 


© 


1850-1 





1870-1 


P 


1811-2 


P 


1831-2 


* 


1851-2 


P 


1871-2 


Q 


1812-3 


q 


1832-3 


<© 


1852-3 


Q 


1872-3 


R 


1813-4 


r 


1833-4 


m 


1853-4 


R 


1873-4 


S 


1814-5 


s 


1834-5 


& 


1854-5 


S 


1874-5 


T 


1815-6 


t 


1835-6 


€ 


1855-6 


T 


1875-6 


U 


1816-7 


u 


1836-7 


m 


1856-7 


U 


1876-7 








MA 


EtKS. 










1. Mode 
3. Date lette 


-n Exeter ir 
r. 


ark (see pag 
4. Lion p 


l 132). 
assant. 


2. Make 
5. S 


r's mark, 
avereign's h 


eacl. 



410 



CHESTEE DATE LETTEES. 



[app. b. 



A 


1701-2 


m 


1726-7 


® 


1752-3 


S) 


1776-7 




B 




1702-3 


& 


1727-8 


B 


1753-4 


b 


1777-8 




c 




1703-4 


6 


1728-9 


C 


1754-5 


c 


1778-9 




D 




1704-5 


® 


1729-0 


D 


1755-6 


d 


1779-0 




B 




1705-6 


s 


1730-1 


E 


1756-7 


e 


1780-1 


m 


1706-7 


& 


1731-2 


F 


1757-8 


f 


1781-2 


© 


1707-8. 


§ 


1732-3 


G 


1758-9 


g 


1782-3 


© 


1708-9 


O/Jd 


1733-4 


H 


1759-0 


h 


1783-4 


ID 

® 

© 
m 


1709-0 
1710-1 


J 
/ 


1734-5 
1735-6 


I 

J 


1760-1 
1761-2 


i 

k 


1784-5 
1785-6 


1711-2 
1712-3 


SfS 

J 


1736-7 
1737-8 
1738-9 


K 
L 

M 


1762-3 
1763-4 
1764-5 


1 

m 
n 


1786-7 
1787-8 
1788-9 


® 


1713-4 


Jf 


1739-0 


N 


1765-6 





1789-0 


® 


1714-5 


& 


1740-1 





1766-7 


p 


1790-1 


m 


1715-6 


s 


1741-2 


P 


1767-8 


q 


1791-2 


m 


1716-7 


J 


1742-3 


Q 


1768-9 


r 


1792-3 


m 


1717-8 


01 


1743-4 


s 


1769-0' 


s 


1793-4 


© 


1718-9 


& 


1744-5 


s 


1770-1 


t 


1794-5 


© 


1719-0 . 


Sf 


1745-6 


s 


1771-2 


u 


1795-6 


© 


1720-1 


u 


1746-7 


u 


1772-3 


V 


1796-7 


© 


1721-2 


<v 


1747-8 


V 


1773-4 






© 


1722-3 


w 


1748-9 


w 


1774-5 






® 


1723-4 




1749-0 


X 


1775-6 






® 


1724-5 


V 

z 


1750-1 










m 


1725-6 


1751-2 












MAE 


wKS. 








1. Chester mark (see page 132] 

4. Date letter. 5. Lior 

Note.— From 1701 till 1720, I 

head crowned and Lion passant, 


2. Leo] 
passant. 
Jritannia anc 
on silver. 


card's bead 
And (from 
Lion's hea 


crowned. 
1784) 6. Soi 
d erased inst 


S. Maker' 
'ereign's he 
ead of the 


s mark. 

id. 

Leopard's 



APP. B.] 



CHESTER DATE LETTERS. 



411 



® 


1797-8 


® 


1818-9 


a 


1839-0 


a 


1864-5 


B 


1798-9 


B 


1819-0 


35 


1840-1 


t> 


1865-6 


C 


1799-0 


C 


1820-1 


c 


1841-2 


c 


1866-7 


D 


1800-1 


D 


1821-2 


IB 


1842-3 


ti 


1867-8 


E 


1801-2 


E 


1822-3 


<B 


1843-4 


e 


1868-9 


F 


1802-3 


F 


1823-4 


f 


1844-5 


f 


1869-0 


G 


1803-4 


G 


1824-5 


(3 


1845-6 


fl 


1870-1 


H 


1804-5 


H 


1825-6 


fc 


1846-7 


!) 


1871-2 


I 


1805-6 


I 


1826-7 


3 


1847-8 


t 


1872-3 


K 


1806-7 


K 


1827-8 


m 


1848-9 


I 


1873-4 


L 


1807-8 


L 


1828-9 


K 


1849-0 


I 


1874-5 


M 


1808-9 


M 


1829-0 


M 


1850-1 


m 


1875-6 


N 


1809-0 


N 


1830-1 


& 


1851-2 


it 


1876-7 





1810-1 





1831-2 


<® 


1852-3 





1877-8 


P 


1811-2 


P 


1832-3 


* 


1853-4 


P 


1878-9 


Q 


1812-3 


Q 


1833-4 


<& 


1854-5 


<I 


1879-0 


R 


1813-4 


R 


1834-5 


aa 


1855-6 






S 


1814-5 


S 


1835^6 


£> 


1856-7 






T 


1815-6 


T 


1836-7 


c 


1857-8 






U 


1816-7 


U 


1837-8 


m 


1858-9 






V 


1817-8 


V 


1838-9 


f 

z 


1859-0 
1860-1 
1861-2 
1862-3 
1863-4 












MAI 


ms. 








1. c 

3. a 


h ester mark 
faker's mark 


(see page 1 
4. Dal 


32). 

e letter. 


2. Leop 
5. Lion pas 


ard's head ci 
sant. 6. 


owned (till 
Sovereign's 


1839). 
head. 



412 NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE DATE LETTEES. [app. p. 





1702-3 


<3 


1721-2* 


gj 


1740-1 


J 


1759-0 




1703-4 


as 


1722-3 


B 


1741-2 


$ 


1760-1 




1704-5 


c 


1723-4 


C 


1742-3 


(g 


1769-0 




1705-6 


m 


1724-5 


D 


1743-4 


SB 


1770-1 




1706-7 


<& 


1725-6 


E 


1744-5 


® 


1771-2 




1707-8 


$ 


1726-7 


F 


1745-6 


& 


1772-3 




1708-9 


<g 


1727-8 


G 


1746-7 





1773-4 




1709-0 


i? 


1728-9 


H 


1747-8 






1710-1 


3 


1729-0 


W 


1748-9 


m 


1774-5 




1711-2 


» 


1730-1 


K 


1749-0 


i 


1775-6 


M 


1712-3 


% 


1731-2 


L 


1750-1 


K 


1776-7 




1713-4 


M 


1732-3 


M 


1751-2 


L 


1777-8 




1714-5 


& 


1733-4 


N 


1752-3 


M 


1778-9 




1715-6 
1716-7 


# 
$ 


1734-5 
1735-6 




p 


1753-4 
1754-5 





1779-0 
1780-1 


P 


1717-8 


<® 


1736-7 


Q 

R 


1755-6 


p 


1781-2 




1718-9 


an 


1737-8 


1756-7 




Q 




1782-3 


D 


1719-0 


£> 


1738-9 


S 


1757-8 


R 


1783-4 


E 


1720-1 


c 


1739-0 


T 


1758-9 


S 


1784-5 
















T 




1785-6 














u 


1786-7 


' 












w 


1787-8 














X 


1788-9 














Y 


1789-0 














M 


1790-1 






MAI 


IKS. 


1. New 

4. 

Note 

crowned 


jastle mark I 
Date letter. 
—1702 till 1 
and Lion pa 


see page 133). 2. Le 

5. Lion passant. 
r20, Britannia and Lion' 
ssant, on silver. 


opard's head crowned. 3. Maker's mark. 
And (from 1784) 6. Sovereign's head. 
s head erased instead of the Leopard's head 



* From 1721 to 1725 the Lion passant is found turned to the right, a most unusual 
circumstance. 



app. b.] NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE DATE LETTEES. 413 



® 


1791-2 




ca; 




1815-6 


@ 


1839-0 


(g) 


1864-5 


B 


1792-3 


B 


1816-7 


B 


1840-1 


b 


1865-6 


C 


1793-4 


C 


1817-8 


C 


1841-2 


c 


1866-7 


D 


1794-5 


D 


1818-9 


D 


1842-3 


d 


1867-8 


E 


1795-6 


E 


1819-0 


E 


1843-4 


e 


1868-9 


F 


1796-7 


F 


1820-1 


F 


1844-5 


f 


1869-0 


G 


1797-8 


G 


1821-2 


G 


1845-6 


g 


1870-1 


H 


1798-9 


H 


1822-3 


H 


1846-7 


h 


1871-2 


I 


1799-0 


I 


1823-4 


I 

J 


1847-8 
1848-9 


i 


1872-3 


K 


1800-1 


K 


1824-5 


K 


1849-0 


k 


1873-4 


L 


1801-2 


L 


1825-6 


L 


1850-1 


1 


1874-5 


M 


1802-3 


M 


1826-7 


M 


1851-2 


m 


1875-6 


N 


1803-4 


N 


1827-8 


N 


1852-3 


n 


1876-7 





1804-5 





1828-9 





1853-4 


o 


1877-8 


P 


1805-6 


P 


1829-0 


P 


1854-5 


P 


1878-9 


Q 


1806-7 


Q 


1830-1 


Q 


1855-6 


q. 


1879-0 


R 


1807-8 


R 


1831-2 


R 


1856-7 


r 


1880-1 


S 


1808-9 


S 


1832-3 


S 


1857-8 


s 


1881-2 


T 


1809-0 


T 


1833-4 


T 


1858-9 


t 


1882-3 


U 


1810-1 


U 


1834-5 


U 


1859-0 


u 


1883-4 


w 


1811-2 


W 


1835-6 


w 


1860-1 


w 


1884-5 


X 


1812-3 


X 


1836-7 


X 


1861-2 


X 


1885-6 


Y 


1813-4 


Y 


1837-8 


Y 


1862-3 


y 


1886-7 


Z 


1814-5 


Z 


1838-9 


Z 


1863-4 


z 


1887-8 




MAI 


}KS. 








1. New 


castle mark (see page 133). 2. Le 
4. Date letter. 5. Lion pa 


opard's hea 
3sant. 


d crowned. 
6. Soven 


3. Make 
jgn's head. 


r's mark. 



414 



BIRMINGHAM DATE LETTERS. 



[app. b. 



A 


1773-4 


a 


1799-0 


9 


1825-6 


A 


1850-1 


a 


1875-6 


B 


1774-5 


b 


1800-1 


as 


1826-7 


B 


1851-2 


t) 


1876-7 


C 


1775-6 


c 


1801-2 


€ 


1827-8 


C 


1852-3 


c 


1877-8 


D 


1776-7 


d 


1802-3 


29 


1828-9 


D 


1853-4 


ti 


1878-9 


E 


1777-8 


e 


1803-4 


© 


1829-0 


E 


1854-5 


e 


1879-0 


P 


1778-9 


f 


1804-5 


f 


1830-1 


P 


1855-6 


f 


1880-1 


G 


1779-0 


g 


1805-6 


<& 


1831-2 


Q 


1856-7 


S 


1881-2 


H 


1780-1 


h 


1806-7 


» 


1832-3 


H 


1857-8 


D 


1882-3 


I 


1781-2 


i 


1807-8 


3 


1833-4 


I 


1858-9 


t 


1883-4 


J 


1782-3 


J 


1808-9 


m. 


1834-5 


K 


1859-0 


k 


1884-5 


K 


1783-4 


k 


1809-0 


% 


1835-6 


L 


1860-1 


I 


1885-6 


L 


1784-5 


1 


1810-1 


m 


1836-7 


M 


1861-2 


m 


1886-7 


M 


1785-6 


m 


1811-2 


» 


1837-8 


N 


1862-3 


n 


1887-8 


N 


1786-7 


n 


1812-3 


<B 


1838-9 





1863-4 





1888-9 


O 


1787-8 


o 


1813-4 


n 


1839-0 


P 


1864-5 


P 


1889-0 


P 


1788-9 


P 


1814-5 


<B 


1840-1 


Q 


1865-6 


a 


1890-1 


Q 


1789-0 


q. 


1815-6 


» 


1841-2 


R 


1866-7 


r 


1891-2 


R 


1790-1 


r 


1816-7 


& 


1842-3 


S 


1867-8 





1892-3 


S 


1791-2 


s 


1817-8 


€ 


1843-4 


T 


1868-9 


t 


1893-4 


T 


1792-3 


t 


1818-9 


St 


1844-5 


U 


1869-0 


u 


1894-5 


U 


1793-4 


u 


1819-0 


w 


1845-6 


V 


1870-1 


\> 


1895-6 


V 


1794-5 


V 


1820-1 


OT 


1846-7 


w 


1871-2 


to 


1896-7 


w 


1795-6 


w 


1821-2 


f 


1847-8 


X 


1872-3 


f 


1897-8 


X 


1796-7 


X 


1822-3 


t 


1848-9 


Y 


1873-4 


V 


1898-9 


Y 


1797-8 


y 


1823-4 


z 


1849-0 


z 


1874-5 


? 


1899-0 


Z 


1798-9 


z 


1824-5 






















MARKS. 










1. 1 


Anchor (see p 
Note. — For 


age 133). 
new stan 


2. J 

And (fr 

lard silver tl 


laker's mark. 

om 1784) 5. Sovereigi 

le figure of Britannia 


3. Datel 
l's head. 
s used in 


etter. 
stead of the 


4. Lion 
Lion pass 


passant, 
ant. 



app. b.] SHEFFIELD DATE LETTEES, 1773—1892. 



415 



©* 


1773-4 


1 


1799-0 


m 


1824-5 


a 


1844-5 


<a 


1868-9 


s 


1774-5 


N 


1800-1 


b 


1825-6 


B 


1845-6 


B 


1869-0 


& 


1775-6 


H 


1801-2 


c 


1826-7 


C 


1846-7 


C 


1870-1 


aa 


1776-7 


M 


1802-3 


d 


1827-8 


D 


1847-8 


D 


1871-2 


» 


1777-8 


F 


1803-4 


e 


1828-9 


E 


1848-9 


E 


1872-3 


& 


1778-9 


G 


1804-5 


f 


1829-0 


F 


1849-0 


F 


1873-4 


<a 


1779-0 


B 


1805-6 


S 


1830-1 


G 


1850-1 


G 


1874-5 


c 


1780-1 


A 


1806-7 


h 


1831-2 


H 


1851-2 


H 


1875-6 


9 


1781-2 


S 


1807-8 


k 


1832-3 


I 


1852-3 


J 


1876-7 


6 


1782-3 


P 


1808-9 


1 


1833-4 


K 


1853-4 


K 


1877-8 


as 


1783-4 


K 


1809-0 


m 


1834-5 


L 


1854-5 




1878-9 


3 


1784-5 


L 


1810-1 


P 


1835-6 


M 


1855-6 




1879-0 


© 


1785-6 


C 


1811-2 


q 


1836-7 


N 


1856-7 




1880-1 


It 


1786-7 


D 


1812-3 


r 


1837-8 


O 


1857-8 




1881-2 


S 


1787-8 


R 


1813-4 


s 


1838-9 


P 


1858-9 




1882-3 


W 


1788-9 


W 


1814-5 


t 


1839-0 


B, 


1859-0 




1883-4 


JW 


1789-0 





1815-6 


u 


1840-1 


S 


1860-1 




1884-5 


X, 


1790-1 


T 


1816-7 


V 


1841-2 


T 


1861-2 




1885-6 


$ 


1791-2 


X 


1817-8 


X 


1842-3 


U 


1862-3 




1886-7 


a ■ 


1792-3 


I 


1818-9 


z 


1843-4 


V 


1863-4 




1887-8 


© 


1793-4 


V 


1819-0 






W 


1864-5 




1888-9 


JW 


1794-5 


a 


1820-1 






X 


1865-6 




1889-0 


'<© 


1795-6 


Y 


1821-2 






Y 


1866-7 




1890-1 


% 


1796-7 


z 


1822-3 






Z 


1867-8 




1891-2 


f 


1797-8 


U 


1823-4 












1892-3 


?g 


1798-9 






















MARKS. 












1. Crown (see page 133). 

4. Lion passant. 


2. Maker's ma 
And (from 1784) 5. 


rk. 

Sovereign 


3. 
's head. 


Date lette 


r. 


N< 
Crov 
artic 


jtes. — For new standard silver the 
ra. and Date letter are used on the 
le to be stamped. 


figure of Britannia is 
same punch, or appli 


used inst 
ed as sepj 


ead of the L 
irate marks, 


on passai 
as best s 


it. The 

uits the 



* The letters of this alphabet cannot be accurately rendered in type. They closely resemble those 
of Alphabet XII. in the London tables, page 399, q. v. 



416 


EDINBUEGH 


DATE 


LETTEBS, 1681- 


-1779. 


[app. b. 


Alphabet I. 


Alphabet II. 


Alphabet III. 

i 


Alphabet IV. 




1681-2 


15 


1705-6 


O 


1730-1 


© 


1755-6 


1682-3 




B 




1706-7 


(D 


1731-2 


® 


1756-7 


1683-4 


icJ 


1707-8 


© 


1732-3 


®. 


1757-8 


1684-5 


m 


1708-9 


© 


1733-4. 


® 


1758-9 


1685-6 


(Ej 


1709-0 


© 


1734-5 


© 


1759-0 


(5 


1686-7 


ID 


1710-1 


m 


1735-6 


® 


1760-1 


Hi 


1687-8 


w 


1711-2 


© 


1736-7 


® 


1761-2 


® 


1888-9 


m 


1712-3 


m 


1737-8 


® 


1762-3 


1689-0 


w 


1713-4 


d) 


1738-9 


(3D 


1763-4 




1690-1 


m 


1714-5 


m 


1739-0 


® 


1764-5 


[5 


1691-2 


^ 


1715-6 


© 


1740-1 


m 


1765-6 


1 


1692-3 




M 


t 


1716-7 


® 


1741-2 


® 


1766-7 


u 


1693-4 


m 


1717-8 


© 


1742-3 


® 


1767-8 




1694-5 


© 


1718-9 


© 


1743-4 


© 


1768-9 


1695-6 


m 


1719-0 


m 


1744-5 


® 


1769-0 


1696-7 


n 


1720-1 


m 


1745-6 


© 


1770-1 


1697-8 


M 


1721-2 


® 


1746-7 


® 


1771-2 


1698-9 


® 


1722-3 


© 


1747-8 


® 


1772-3 


® 


1699-0 


W 


1723-4 


® 


1748-9 


® 


1773-4 


a 


1700-1 


m 


1724-5 


© 


1749-0 


© 


1774-5 


i 


1701-2 


w 


1725-6 


© 


1750-1 


© 


1775-6 


s 


1702-3 


m 


1726-7 


© 


1751-2 


® 


1776-7 


®i 


1703-4 


m 


1727-8 


© 


1752-3 


m 


1777-8 


1704-5 


m 


1728-9 


^« 


1753-4 


m 


1778-9 






m 


1729-0 


© 


1754-5 


m 


1779-0 




MARKS. 








1. The 


Castle (see page 150). 2. Maker's m 


irk. 


3. Dat 


3 letter. 


4. , 


\ssay Master's initials till 1759, in which year tl 


le Thistle W£ 


is substitu 


,ed. 



1682-3, also 



d and (§)■ 



t 1716-7 
§ 1753-4 



[Ml - t 1717-8, also [N] and (g). 



app. b.] EDINBUKGH DATE LETTERS, 1780—1881. 



417 



Alphabet V. 






D 



E 






® 



m 



1780-1 

1781-2 

1782-3 

1783-4 

1784-5 

1785-6 

1786-7 

1787-8 

1788-9 

1789-0 

1790-1 

1791-2 

1792-3 

1793-4 

1794-5 

1795-6 

1796-7 

1797-8 

1798-9 

1799-0 

1800-1 

1801-2 

1802-3 

1803-4 

1804-5 

1805-6 



Alphabet VI, 



© 
© 

© 

© 



© 
© 
© 
® 
© 
© 
© 
© 

® 
© 
© 

© 
© 
© 

® 
© 



1806-7 

1807-8 

1808-9 

1809-0 

1810-1 

1811-2 

1812-3 

1813-4 

1814-5 

1815-6 

1816-7 

1817-8 

1818-9 

1819-0 

1820-1 

1821-2 

1822-3 

1823-4 

1824-5 

1825-6 

1826-7 

1827-8 

1828-9 

1829-0 

1830-1 

1831-2 



Alphabet VII. 



If) 

m 

m 



® 

B 



® 



1832-3 
1833-4 

1834-5 

1835-6 

1836-7 

1837-8 

1838-9 

1839-0 

1840-1 

1841-2 

1842-3 

1843-4 

1844-5 

1845-6 

1846-7 

1847-8 

1848-9 

1849-0 

1850-1 

1851-2 

1852-3 

1853-4 

1854-5 

1855-6 

1856-7 



Alphabet VIII. 



® 

® 

© 

® 

® 
® 
® 

® 
® 

© 

® 
@ 

® 
® 
® 

® 

® 
® 
® 



1857-8 

1858-9 

1859-0 

1860-1 

1861-2 

1862-3 

1863-4 

1864-5 

1865-6 

1866-7 

1867-8 

1868-9 

1869-0 

1870-1 

1871-2 

1872-3 

1873-4 

1874-5 

1875-6 

1876-7 

1877-8 

1878-9 

1879-0 

1880-1 

1881-2 



1. The Castle (s 



MARKS. 
i page 150). 2. Maker's mark. 

4. Thistle. And (from 1784) 5. Sovereign's head. 



3. Date letter. 



1789-0, also J. 



E E 



418 



GLASGOW DATE LETTERS, 1819—1895. [app. b. 



A 


1819-0 


a 


1845-6 


A 


1871-2 






B 


1820-1 


35 


1846-7 


B 


1872-3 






C 


1821-2 


€ 


1847-8 


C 


1873-4 






D 


1822-3 


M 


1848-9 


D 


1874-5 






E 


1823-4 


e 


1849-0 


E 


1875-6 






F 


1824-5 


f 


1850-1 


F 


1876-7 






G 


1825-6 





1851-2 


G 


1877-8 






H 


1826-7 


* 


1852-3 


H 


1878-9 






I 


1827-8 


$ 


1853-4 




1879-0 






J 


1828-9 


3 


1854-5 




1880-1 






K 


1829-0 


a 


1855-6 




1881-2 






L 


1830-1 


% 


1856-7 




1882-3 






M 


1831-2 


M 


1857-8 




1883-4 






N 


1832-3 


& 


1858-9 




1884-5 









1833-4 


© 


1859-0 




1885-6 






P 


1834-5 


» 


1860-1 




1886-7 






Q 


1835-6 


<© 


1861-2 




1887-8 






E 


1836-7 


aa 


1862-3 




1888-9 






S 


1837-8 


& 


1863-4 




1889-0 






T 


1838-9 


c 


1864-5 




1890-1 






U 


1839-0 


m 


1865-6 




1891-2 






V 


1840-1 


w 


1866-7 




1892-3 






W 


1841-2 


m 


1867-8 




1893-4 






X 


1842-3 


% 


1868-9 




1894-5 






Y 


1843-4 


Wt 


1869-0 




1895-6 






Z 


1844-5 


z 


1870-1 














MAR 


KB. 






1. Tree, 


fish, and be 
4. I 


1 (see page 150). 
ion rampant. 


2. Maker's 
5. Sen 


mark. 
rereign's hea 


3. Date letter. 
i. 



app. b.] DUBLIN DATE LETTERS, 1638—1720. 



419 



A 


1638-9 


a 


1658-9 


% 


1678-9 




1698-9 


B 


1639-0 


b 


1659-0 


3S 


1679-0 




1699-0 


C 
D 


1640-1 
1641-2 


c 
d 


1660-1 
1661-2 


9 


1680-1 
1681-2 




1700-1 
1701-2 


E 


1642-3 


e 


1662-3 




1682-3 




1702-3 


F 


1643-4 


f 


1663-4 




1683-4 




1703-4 


G 


1644-5 


g 


1664-5 




1684-5 




1704-5 


H 


1645-6 


h 


1665-6 




1685-6 




1705-6 


I 


1646-7 


i 


1666-7 




1686-7 




1706-7 


K 


1647-8 


k 


1667-8 




1687-8 




1707-8 


L 


1648-9 


1 


1668-9 




1688-9 




1708-9 


M 


1649-0 


m 


1669-0 




1689-0 




1709-0 


N 


1650-1 


n 


1670-1 




1690-1 


w 


1710-1 





1651-2 





1671-2 




1691-2 


w 


1711-2 


P 

Q 

E 

S 
T 


1652-3 
1653-4 
1654-5 
1655-6 
1656-7 


P 

r 

s 
t 


1672-3 
1673-4 
1674-5 
1675-6 
1676-7 


9 


1692-3 
1693-4 
1694-5 
1695-6 
1696-7 


w 


1712-3 
1713-4 
1714-5 
1715-6 


U 


1657-8 


u 


1677-8 




1697-8 




1716-7 

1717-8 
1718-9 

1719-0 

1720-1 


1. H 

Note 
the othe 


arp crowned 

—The letter 
rs, down to 


(see page 1 

3 for 1644— 
1716, from < 


MAE 

59). 2 

48, 1656, 165< 
lated specim 


KS. 

. Maker's n 

, and 1693, 
3ns. 


iark. 

are from the 


3. Date 
Goldsmith 


etter. 
3' books ; 



E E 2 



420 



DUBLIN DATE-LETTERS, 1721—1820. 



[app. b. 



® 


1721-2 


(5 


1746-7 


® 


1771-2 


® 


1796-7 


3S 


1722-3 


B 


1747-8 


B 


1772-3 


® 


1797-8 


C 


1723-4 


C 


1748-9 


C 


1773-4 


c 


1798-9 


33 


1724-5 


D 


1749-0 


D 


1774-5 


D 


1799-0 


e 


1725-6 


E 


1750-1 


E 


1775-6 


E 


1800-1 


jf 


1726-7 


F 


1751-2 


F 


1776-7 


F 


1801-2 


6 


1727-8 


a 


1752-3 


G 


1777-8 


G 


1802-3 


& 


1728-9 


H 


1753-4 


H 


1778-9 


H 


1803-4 


9 


1729-0 


I 


1754-5 


I 


1779-0 


I 


1804-5 


» 


1730-1 


K 


1755-6 


K 


1780-1 


K 


1805-6 


K 


1731-2 


L 


1756-7 


L 


1781-2 


L 


1806-7 


jm 


1732-3 


M 


1757-8 


M 


1782-3 


M 


1807-8 


& 


1733-4 


N 


1758-9 


N 


1783-4 


o® 


1808-9 


© 


1734-5 


O 


1759-0 


O 


1784-5 


® 


1809-0 


* 


1735-6 


P 


1760-1 


P 


1785-6 


p 


1810-1 


© 


1736-7 


Q 


1761-2 


Q 


1786-7 


Q 


1811-2 


n 


1737-8 


R 


1762-3 


E 


1787-8 


R 


1812-3 


A 


1738-9 


S 


1763-4 


S 


1788-9 


S 


1813-4 


C 


1739-0 


T 


1764-5 


T 


1789-0 


T 


1814-5 


& 


1740-1 


U 


1765-6 


U 


1790-1 


U 


1815-6 


2U 


1741-2 


V 


1766-7 


V 


1791-2 


V 


1816-7 


» 


1742-3 


w 


1767-8 


w 


1792-3 


w 


1817-8 


2 


1743-4 


X 


1768-9 


X 


1793-4 


X 


1818-9 




1744-5 


Y 


1769-0 


Y 


1794-5 


Y 


1819-0 


z 


1745-6 


Z 


1770-1 


Z 


1795-6 


Z 


1820-1 


M 


ARKS. 






1. Harp crowned (see page 159). 

4 (from 1730). Hibernia. A 


2. Maker's mark, 
nd (from 1807) 5. Sovei 


3. Da 

eign's head. 


;e letter. 


Note.— The shape of the shield for e 
the then current alphabet was changed 
1808, the N for that year being found in ( 


ach alphabet is given 
from a plain to an on 
escutcheons of both sh 


at the comme 
lamental escu 
apes. 


icement ; 
;cheon in 



app. b.] DUBLIN DATE LETTERS, 1821—1896= 



421 



® 


1821-2 


a 


1846-7 


B 


1871-2 




■® 


1822-3 


b 


1847-8 


1872-3 




© 




c 


1848-9 








1823-4 


d 


1849-0 


C 


1873-4 




® 


1824-5 


e 


1850-1 


D 


1874-5 




%® 


1825-6 


f 


1851-2 


E 
F 


1875-6 
1876-7 




F 


1826-7 


g 


1852-3 
















1877-8 




G 


1827-8 


h 


1853-4 




1878-9 




II 


1828-9 


J 


1854-5 
















1879-0 




I 


1829-0 


k 


1855-6 




1880-1 




K 


1830.-1 


1 


1856-7 




1881-2 




L 


1831-2 


m 


1857-8 




1882-3 




M 


1832-3 


n 


1858-9 




1883-4 




N 


1833-4 





1859-0 




1884-5 







1834-5 


P 


1860-1 




1885-6 




P 


1835-6 


Q 


1861-2 




1886-7 




Q 


1836-7 


r 


1862-3 




1887-8 




K 


1837-8 


s 


1863-4 




1888-9 




S 


1838-9 


t 


1864-5 




1889-0 




T 


1839-0 


u 


1865-6 




1890-1 




U 


1840-1 


V 


1866-7 




1891-2 




V 


1841-2 


w 


1867-8 




1892-3 




W 


1842-3 


X 


1868-9 




1893-4 




X 


1843-4 


Y 


1869-0 




1894-5 




Y 


1844-5 


z 


1870-1 




1895-6 




Z 


1845-6 














MAR 


KS. 


1. Harp crowned (see page 15< 


)). 2 


Maker's mark. 3. Date letter. 


4. Hibernia. 




5. Sovereign's head. 


Note.— From 1826 to 1870 the D 


ate letters ai 


e found in shields of many different shapes. 



INDEX, 



A. 



Aberdeen, marks used at 

Act, the Goldsmiths 7 , 7 & 8 Vict. c. 22 . 

Aldegraver, designs by 

Alloy, derivation of the word . . . 
,, metals used as, with gold and silver 

Alloys, their use 

Alms, plates and basins for 

Alphabetical date-letter, first mention of, in England 

in France 

Altar candlesticks . . 

Analyses of gold 

„ of silver . . . • 

Anchor, a Birmingham mark 

Ancients, the, their knowledge of gold and silver 

Antique plate, cost of 

Apostles' spoons • 

forgery of 

Archimedes, hydrostatic test applied by 

Ashanti gold, analysis of 

Assay, first mention of, in England . 

articles exempted from . . ... 

cups of 

by the cupel, when introduced 

,, how conducted 

in the humid way, for silver . . 
Assay Office marks. See under names of towns 
Assayer's mark, why a date-letter . 

, , when first appointed in London 

at Montpellier 

Augsburg, goldsmiths of 

Australian coinage, quality of . 
Avoirdupois weight and Troy compared 



PAfJE 

. 147 
57, 163 
. 317 

7' 



170, 



222. 



. 210 
. 73 
. 32 
. 211 

4 

6 
130, 133 

2 
261, 294 
. 221 
. 165 
. 11 

5 
27, 71 
. 86 
. 273 
. 15 
. 15 
. 16 

32, 73 
. 73 
. 32 
. 24 
. 11 
. 20 



424 



INDEX. 



B. 

Banker-goldsmiths of London, notes of the 
Basins, ewers and ...... 

Baskets, cake and bread ..... 

Beakers . . . 

Becket's, Thomas a, cup called 

Bible, early notices of gold and silver in the 

Birmingham, appointed an assay town . 

, , marks used at . . 

Borihl, what ....... 

Bottles, costrels or pilgrims' . 

Bristol ........ 

Britannia, figure of, mark of new sterling silver 
,, ,, as a drawback mark 

Bruges, touch of 

Bullion, plate melted up to supply . 
Bullion refiners, licences required by . 



91, 



PAOB 

50 

, . 264 

. 331 

. 309 

. 288 

2 

. 130 

130, 133 

. 30 

, . 209 

), 124 

84 



. 96, 136 
46, 54 

. . 87 



0. 



Candelabra . . . 

Candlesticks 

,, altar ...... 

Carat, meaning of the word .... 

,, value of standard gold per . 

Castors 

Castle and lion passant, a Norwich mark . 
,, single, a Newcastle mark 
, , triple, an Edinburgh mark 
,, of three towers, an Exeter mark . 
Castles, three on a shield, a Newcastle mark 
Caudle cups . . . . . 

Chalices, ancient 

,, Gothic ...... 

Charles V., emperor, letter of ... 
Chester, ancient guild at . 

,, goldsmiths, their marks .... 

,, office, as re-established in 1701 .... 

,, ,, marks used at, since 1702 . 

Chronological list of plate . . . . . 

,, tables of date-letters . 

Church, Prof. A. H., various analyses of gold and silver by 
Cocoa-nut cups . . . . , 

Coffee pots 

Coffins, chalices found in priests' . . . . 

Coin, silver, how used as weights 

Coinage, English, debased under Henry VIII. . 



103, 117, 



104, 
103, 
141, 
122, 
129, 



108, 117, 126, 



App 

App 

4, 



10 



325 
325 

211 
8 

20 
329 
117 
117 
150 
132 
132 
311 
185 
187 

75 
107 
132 
118 
132 
.A. 
. B. 
5,6 
276 
330 
185 

20 
,83 



INDEX. 



425 



Coinage, restored under Q. Elizabeth 

,, standard of English 
Coinage Act, 1870 . 
Coloured gold . . 
Communion cups .... 

,, flagons .... 

,, patens .... 

,, plate, historical notes of 
Copper as an alloy, use of 
Coronation regalia, made new for Charles 
Crown, ancient mark used at Norwich 
,, a Sheffield mark 
,, and 18 or 22, mark 
Cruet stands ..... 
Cupboard, arrangement of the mediaeval 
Cupellation, assay by . 
Cups, standing 



II. 



various drinking 



PAGE 

43,77 

9 

. 32 

. 17 

179, 196 
. 207 

191, 194 
. 173 
. 7,11 
. 47 

106, 

130, 



Di 



117 
133 
, 59 
329 
217 
15 
270 
232, 270, 301, 307 



D. 



Date-letters, when first used and why 

,, when changed at Goldsmiths' Hall 

Dealers in plate, licence required by 
Deniers, Erench measure of fineness . 
Dies, penalties for forging or counterfeiting . 

Diet, annual trial of 

Dinner services, when introduced . 

,, ,, old plate melted up to supply 

Drawback, when allowed 

Dublin, Goldsmiths' Company at, notices of 

, , , , , , its marks 

Dundee, marks used at ... 
Duty on plate, when imposed .... 
,, articles exempt from pay iDg 

Duty-mark 

Duty marks, Irish 



32, 73 

78 
87 
23 
164 
131 
318 
321 



151 
159 
147 

87 
86 
87 
153, 159 



E. 

Edinburgh goldsmiths and their marks .... 134, 141, 150 

Edward YL, destruction of church plate under 178 

Elizabeth, great prosperity of the reign of 212 

,, destruction of church plate under 181 

, , restoration of the old coinage standard by . . .43 

England, analyses of gold found in 4 

,. silver found in 6 



426 



INDEX. 



PAGE 

Epergnes 331 

Erasing marks, penalties for . . 164 

Esterlings, the good money of the ....... 9 

Ewers, basins and 264 

Exeter, ancient guild at 110 

,, ancient marks used at 110, 117 

,, office as re-established in 1701 . ... . . . 118 

,, marks used at since 1701 . . . .'. . . 132 



E. 

Feathers, plume of, an Irish mark 153 

Flagons, communion . . . . . . . . . . 207 

Flasks 209 

Flaxman, his designs for plate ........ 300 

Fleur de lys and rose crowned dimidiated, a York mark . . 100, 117 
Forged marks, penalties for selling wares with ..... 164 

Forks, when introduced 318 

France, early guilds of goldsmiths in . . . . . . 23, 30 

Frauds, penalties for various . . . . . • . .164 

,, medieeval 160 

,, modern 161 

,, how to detect certain 168, 169 



G. 

Geneva, New, colony of goldsmiths at 

, , marks used at ... 

Glasgow, its marks 

Gold, known to the ancients. 

, , where found ...... 

, , annual production of . 

,, specific gravity of . 

, , weight of, as compared with other metals . 

, , malleability and ductility of . 

, , analyses of various specimens of 

,, coloured . . . . 

, , value of, per carat fine .... 

,, 18-carat, first mention of 

,, marks appointed for . . ... 

, , lower standards of, when first authorised 

,, ,, ,, marks appointed for 

,, 22-carat, marks appointed for 

Gold plate, rarity of 

„ specimens of 

Goldsmiths' Company, incorporation of the 
,, charters of the 



. 154 

. 153 

147, 149 

3 

4 

4 

5 

5 

6 

4 

. 17 

. 20 

. 40 

. 57 

. 57 

57, 59 

. 59 

. 215 

. 215 

. 27 

. 27 



INDEX. 



427 



Eliz. 



Goldsmiths' Company, legislation relating to the 

,, ,, its constitution 

, , , , ordinances of the 

,, ,, prosecutions by, in sixteenth century 

Goldsmiths, London, names of in sixteenth century . 

,, ,, become bankers 

Goldsmith's workshop, contents of mediaeval 
Goddards ......... 

Gravity, specific, of gold and silver . . . 

Greece, ancient, use of gold and silver in 

Guilds, early, of French goldsmiths .... 

,, in London, historical notes of . 



H. 

Hall-marks, where placed on plate . 

Hanaps . . 

Hanbury cup, the, at Goldsmiths' Hall . 

Harp crowned, an Irish mark 

Harrison, W., his description of England temp. 

Henry VIII., debasement of coinage under. 

,, church goods seized by 

Herbert's History of the Goldsmiths' Company 
Heriot, George ...... 

Hibernia, figure of, an Irish mark 

Hiero's crown, story of testing. 

Hogarth, an engraver of plate 

Horns, drinking 



PAGE 

29 

34 

35 

95 

42 

50 

93 

218 

5,7 

3 

23 

25 



169 

270 

79 

159 

213 
10, 83 
. 175 
27, 70 
46, 137 
153, 159 
. 11 
. 268 
. 278 



Illegal wares, penalty for possessing . 
Inverness, marks used at . 
Ireland, analysis of gold found in 
Irish Parliament, acts of . 

Irish marks, table of 

,, plate, list of specimens of 
Irregular marks on London plate about 1720 
Israelites, their skill as goldsmiths . 
Ivory cups ....... 



164 

147 

5 

152 
159 

157 

85 

2 

288 



John, King of France, his confirmation of goldsmiths' pri 

Jugs, stoneware mounted 

Justa .......... 



75 
261 

218 



428 



INDEX. 



K. 

PAGE 

Kettles, tea 330 

King's head, mark of, when instituted 85 

,, ,, ,, ,, in intaglio 87 



L. 

Lamerie, Paul. ..*..... 18, 297, 331 

Leopard's head crowned, first mention of the 60 

, , , , , , the national standard mark ... 62 

,, „ ,, uncrowned since 1823 63 

Licences, plate dealers' and bullion refiners' 87 

Lily, mark of the Paris touch 23 

Lion, castle and, a Norwich mark ...... 104,117 

, , passant, first actual mention of , . . . . . . . 82 

,, ,, to sinister, where used as a mark . . . .103 

,, ,, when introduced as a mark and why . . . . 83 

,, rampant, a Glasgow mark 149,150 

Lion's head erased, mark of new sterling silver 84 

Lions, five on a cross, a York mark ...... 120, 132 

,, passant, three dimidiated, with three garbs dim., a Chester 

mark 108, 117, 126, 132 

London date-letter, when first appointed 70 

,, marks, table of 59 

Loths, a German weight 14 

Lotteries, plate .52 



M. 



Maces ....... 

Mace heads, cups formed of 

Maes or Maas, Pierre, engraver 

Maker's mark, first mention in England of 

Makers' marks, how recorded at Goldsmiths 

,, ,, chronological list of 

Marks, London, table of . 
used at Chester . 
,., Exeter 

, , Newcastle-upon-Tyne . 
,, Norwich 
,, Birmingham 
„. Sheffield . 
,, York . . . % . 
penalties for transposing 

,,. ,, selling wares with forged 
,,. ,, obliterating or erasing 
where placed on plate 



Hall 



. 333 
, 335 
. 317 
29,64 
. 67 
APP. A. 
. 59 
132 
132 
133 
. 117 
. 133 
. 133 
117, 132 
. 164 
. 164 
. 164 
. 169 



117 
117 : 
117, 



INDEX. 429 



PACE 



Mazers 232 

,, German 245 

Milliemes, fineness of gold and silver expressed in . . . . 8 

Mint prices for gold . . . 20 

,, standard trial plates at the .11 

Monteiths 323 

Montpellier, goldsmiths at 29 

,, date-letter first used at 32 

Murra 232 



N. 

Narwhal, horn of the . . . 274 

Nef, the 218 

New sterling silver, marks for 84 

Newcastle-upon-Tyne, ancient guild of goldsmiths at . . . . 91 

,, goldsmiths of, their marks . . . 117,133 

,, assay-office as re-established in 1702 118,128 

New Geneva, marks used at . . . . . . . . 153 

Nitrate of silver, simple test for silver by . . . . . .18 

Norwich, goldsmiths' guild at . 104 

,, its ancient marks . . . . . . . .117 

,, Goldsmiths' Company re-established in 1701 at . . . 118 

,, Peter Peterson, a celebrated goldsmith at . . 104,257 

Nuremburg, goldsmiths at 24 

O. 

Obole, French measure of fineness 23 

Old sterling silver 10, 53 

,, „ ,, restored in 1720 56,85 

Ostrich eggs, caps formed of 274 

P. 

Paris, touch of 23, 75 

Parliament, enquiry in 1773 by 119 

„ 1855 by 129, 131 

Penalties for frauds 164 

Perth, marks used at ........ 147 

Peterson, Peter, celebrated Norwich goldsmith . . . 104, 257 

Plate, the word 38 

,, abundance of, in sixteenth century . . . . . . 213 

,, cost of antique 170,222,261,294 

Plates, dinner 318 

,, engraved . . . 317 

,, spice 316 



430 . INDEX. 



PAGE 

Poeham Martin, engraver . . . . . . . . . 317 

Porringers . 312 

Pound, Tower, weight of . . 19 

,, Troy and Avoirdupois compared ...... 20 

Prosecutions instituted by Goldsmiths' Company . . . . 161 

Provincial assay towns, as re-established in 1701-2 . . . .118 

date letters, where used . 117, 132, 133, 147, 150, 159 

goldsmiths, early notices of . . . . .91 

,, control exercised by London over . . 90, 9o 

goldsmiths' companies, establishment of . . . .89 

,, work, small repute of 97 

marks, often forged . . . . . . .109 

,, some doubtful . . . . ... 113 

touches, first mention in England of . . .90 

Pudsey spoon, the 227 

Pyx, trial of the .32 



Q. 
Queen's head, duty mark of the .85 

E. 

Rebellion, plate melted at the great 46, 49 

Eeformation, effects of the, as regards church goods . . .175 

Eegalia, coronation, made new for Charles II 47 

Eiley's " Memorials of London and London Life " . . 33, 90, 302 

Eome, ancient, silver table plate used in 3 

Eose-crowned, a Norwich mark 105,117 

,, dimidiated with fleur de lys, a York mark . 100, 117 

Eyland's ''Assay of Gold and Silver "Wares" .... 119,151 

S. 

Salt, mode of assaying silver by solution of 16 

Salters' Company, plate of the . 79 

Salts, standing 252 

,, trencher 260 

Salvers 264 

Sconces . 325 

Scotland, gold found in 4 

Scotch gold, analyses of 4 5 5 

Scotch Parliament, acts of the . 134 

Sheffield, assay office established at 130 

,, ,, ,, marks used at 133 

Silver, analysis of . . 6 

,, as an alloy, use of 8, 10 



INDEX. 431 



PAGE 



Silver, frosted 18 

,, known to the ancients 2,3 

, , malleability and ductility of ....... 6 

,, simple chemical test for . . . . . . . . 18 

,, specific gravity of ... 7 

,, weight of compared with other metals 12 

Sovereign's head, appointed as duty mark 85 

Specific gravity of gold ■ . . . . 5 

„ „ silver 7 

Spectroscope 17 

Spoons, Apostles', historical notes of 221 

,, ,, their value 222 

,, flat-stemmed 228 

,, Hanoverian pattern 229 

,, maidenhead 221 

,, seal-headed 228 

St. Andrew's, marks used at 147 

Standards, English, for coin 10 

,, ,, for plate . 9 

Sterling, derivation of the word . . 9 

,, silver, what is ......... 9 

,, ,, marks appointed for 26 

,, ,, new, when introduced .84 

,, ,, ,, marks appointed for . . . . .59,85 

Stoneware jugs . . 261 

Sword erect, a Chester mark .109,117 



T. 

Tankards 301 

Tasters 309 

Tazze, cups formed as . 307 

Tea services 330 

„ kettles . -330 

,, urns 330 

Thistle, a Scotch mark . . . . . . . . 140,150 

Toilet services 328 

Touch, trial by the . . 13, 26 

, , meaning of the word 76 

„ of Paris 23,75 

„ of Bruges . . . 96, 136 

Touchstone, what 13 

,, testing gold and silver by the 14 

Tower pound, weight of 19 

Town marks in France, early institution of .... 23, 75 

Transposing marks, penalties for 164, 165 

Tree, fish, and bell, a Glasgow mark 150 



432 



INDEX. 



Troy weight and Avoirdupois compared 20 

Trussing cups 218 

Tumbler cups ... 316 



U. 

Unicorn's head, an Irish mark . . . . . . .153 

Unicorn, horn of the .......... 274 

Urns, tea 330 



V. 

Voyders . . . . . . 218 

Vyiier, Sir Eoberfc . . .46 



W. 



Wardens, the assay, duty of .. . 

,, marks used by them 
Wars of the Roses, much plate lost in the 
Watchcases, exemption from duty of 
Wedding rings, Act relating to 
Weights, Troy . . . . 

Tower 

Avoirdupois 

Troy and Avoirdupois compared 

silver coin used as 

comparative, of gold, silver, etc. . 
Workshop, contents of mediaeval goldsmith's 



36, 73 

26, 72 
212 
87 
87 
19 
19 
20 
20 
20 
12 
93 



X. 



X, letter crowned, an Exeter mark 



110, 117 



Y. 



York, the old goldsmiths of 
, , ancient marks used at 
,, Company, re-established in 1701 . 
,, ,, marks used by, since 1701 

its decline 



. 92 
100, 117 
. 118 
. 132 
. 120 



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Copious and Critical English-Latin Dictionary. 8vo. 21.v. 

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SMITH'S (Dr. Wm.) ENGLISH COURSE :— 

School Manual of English Grammar, with Copious Exercises. 
Post 8vo. 3s. 6d. 

School Manual op Modern Geography, Physical and 
Political. Post 8vo. 5s. 

Primary English Grammar. 16mo. Is. 

Primary History of Britain. 12mo. 2s. 6d. 
SMITH'S (Dr. Wm.) FRENCH COURSE :— 

French Principia. Part I. A First Course, containing a 
Grammar, Delectus, Exercises, and Vocabularies. 12mo. 3s. 6d. 

French Principia. Part II. A Reading Book, containing 
Fables, Stories, and Anecdotes, Natural History, and Scenes from the 
History of France. With Grammatical Questions, Notes and copious 
Etymological Dictionary. 12mo. 4s. 6d. 

French Principia. Part III. Prose Composition, containing 
a Systematic Course of Exercises on the Syntax, with the Principal 
Rules of Syntax. 12mo. [In the Press. 

Student's French Grammar. By C. Heron-Wall. With 

Introduction by M. Littre. Post 8vo. 7s. 6d. 
Smaller Grammar of the French Language. Abridged 
from the above. 12mo. 3s. 6d. 



28 LIST OF WORKS 



SMITH'S (Dr. Wm.) GEEMAN COUESE :— 

German Frincipia. Part I. A First German Course, con- 
taining a Grammar, Delectus, Exercise Book, and Vocabularies- 
12mo. 3s. 6rf. 

German Principia. Part II. A Beading Book ; containing 

Fables, Stories, and Anecdotes, Natural History, and Scenes from the 
History of Germany. With Grammatical Questions, Notes, and Dic- 
tionary. 12mo. 3s. 6d. 

Practical German Grammar. Post 8vo. 3s. 6d. 
SMITH'S (Dr. Wm.) LATIN COUESE:— 

Principia Latina. Part I. First Latin Course, containing a 

Grammar, Delectus, and Exercise Book, with Vocabularies. 12mo. 3s. 6d. 
*** In this Edition the Cases of the Nouns, Adjectives, and Pronouns 
are arranged both as in the ordinary Grammars and as in the Public 
School Primer, together with the corresponding Exercises. 
Appendix to Principia Latina Part I.; being Additional 
Exercises, with Examination Papers. 12mo. 2s. 6d. 

Principia Latina. Part II. A Eeading-book of Mythology, 
Geography, Roman Antiquities, and History. With Notes and Dic- 
tionary. 12mo. 3s. 6d. 

Principia Latina. Part III. A Poetry Book. Hexameters 

and Pentameters ; Eclog. Ovidianse; Latin Prosody. 12mo. Bs.6d. 

Principia Latina. Part IV. Prose Composition. Eules of 
Syntax with Examples, Explanations of Synonyms, and Exercises 
on the Syntax. 12mo. 3s. 6d. 

Principia Latina. Part V. Short Tales and Anecdotes for 

Translation into Latin. 12mo. 3s. 

Latin-English Vocabulary and First Latin-English 
Dictionary for Ph^edrus, Cornelius Nepos, anoC.esab. 12mo. 3s.6rf. 
Student's Latin Grammar. Post 8vo. 6s. 
Smaller Latin Grammar. 12rao. 3s. 6d. 
Tacitus, Germania, Agricola, &c. With English Notes. 

12mo. 3s. 6d. 

SMITH'S (Dr. Wm.) GEEEK COUESE :— 

InitiaGr^ca. Parti. A First Greek Course, containing a Gram- 
mar, Delectus, and Exercise-book. With Vocabularies. 12mo. 3s. 6d. 

Initia GRiECA. Part II. A Eeading Book. Containing 
Short Tales, Anecdotes, Fables, Mythology, and Grecian History. 
12mo. 3s. 6d. 

Initia Grjeca. Part III. Prose Composition. Containing the 

Rules of Syntax, with copious Examples and Exercises. ;i2mo. 3s. Qd. 

Student's Greek Grammar. By Curtius. Post 8vo. 6s. 
Smaller Greek Grammar. 12mo. 3s. 6d. 
Greek Accidence. 12no. 2s. 6d. 

Plato, Apology op Socrates, &c. With Notes. 12mo. 3s. 6d. 
SMITH'S (Dr. Wm.) SMALLEE HISTOEIES :— 
Scbipture History. Woodcuts. 16mo. 3s. 6c/. 
Ancient History. Woodcuts. 16mo. 3s. 6d. 
Ancient Geography. Woodcuts. 16mo. 3s. 6d. 
Rome. Woodcuts. 16mo. 3s. 6d. 
Greece. Woodcuts. 16mo. 3s. 6d. 
Classical Mythology. Woodcuts. 16mo. 3s. 6d. 
England. Woodcuts. 16mo. 3s. 6d. 
English Liteeature. 16mo. 3s. 6d. 
Specimens op English Literature. 16mo. 3s. 6d. 



PUBLISHED BY MR. MURRAY. 



29 



SHAW (T B.). Student's Manual of English Literature. Post 8vo. 



7s. 6d. 



Specimens of English Literature. Selected from the 



Chief Writers. Post 8vo7 Is. Gd. 



rfSS?pTrt ViB S t0 High Tartar ^ Yarkand, and Kashgar 

(formerly Chinese Tartary), and Return Journey over the Karakorum 
Pass. With Map and Illustrations. 8vo. 16*. ivarasorum 

SIERRA LEONE ; Described in Letters to Friends at Home Bv 
A Lady. Post 8vo. 3s. 6rf. J 

SIMMONS (Cam.). Constitution and Practice of Courts-Mar- 

tial. Seventh Edition. 8vo. 15s. d 

SMITH (Philip). A History of the Ancient World, from the 

SVol^S^sfs^ the R ° maU Empir6 ' A-D - m - F ° Urth Edition ' 

SPALDING (Captain). The Tale of Frithiof. Translated from the 
bwedish of Esias Tegner. Post 8vo. 7s. 6d. 

STANLEY'S (Dean) WORKS :— 

Sinai and Palestine, in connexion with their History. Map. 

Bible in the Holy Land ; Extracted from the above Work 

Weodcuts. Fcap. 8vo 2s. 6d. 

Eastern Church. Plans. 8vo. 12s. 

Jewish Church. From the Earliest Times to the Christian 

Era. 3 Vols. 8vo. 38s. 

Epistles op St. Paul to the Corinthians. 8vo. 18s. 

Life op Dr. Arnold, op Rugby. With selections from his 
Correspondence. With portrait. 2 vols. Crown 8vo. 12s. 

Church op Scotland. 8vo. 7s. 6d. 

Memorials op Canterbury Cathedral. Woodcuts. Post 

8vo. 7s. 6d. 

Westminster Abbey. With Illustrations. 8vo. Us, 
Sermons during a Tour in the East. 8vo. 9s. 

Addresses and Charges op the late Bishop Stanley. With 
Memoir. 8vo. 10s. 6<2. 

STEPHEN (Rev. W. R.). Life and Times of St. Chrysostom. 

With Portrait. 8vo. 15s. 

ST. JOHN (Charles). Wild Sports and Natural History of the 
Highlands. Post8vo. 3s. 6d. 

(Bayle) Adventures in the Libyan Desert. Post 8vo. 2s. 

SUMNER'S (Bishop) Life and Episcopate" during 40 Years. By 
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STREET (G. E.) Gothic Architecture in Spain. From Personal 

Observations made during several Journeys. With Illustrations 
Royal 8vo. 30s. 



— — Italy, chiefly in Brick and 

Marble. With Notes of Tours in the North of Italy. With 60 Il- 
lustrations. Eoyal 8vo. 26s. 



30 LIST OF WORKS 



STUDENTS' MANUALS:— 

Old Testament History ; from the Creation to the Return of 

the Jews from Captivity. Maps and Woodcuts. Post 8vo. 7s. 6df. 
New Testament History. With an Introduction connecting 
the History of the Old and New Testaments. Maps and Woodcuts. 
Post8vo. 7s. 6d. 

Ecclesiastical History. A History of the Christian Church 

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establishment of the Holy Roman Empire aud the Papal Power. Post 

8vo. 7s. Qd. 
English Church History, from the accession of Henry VIII. 

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Perry. Post 8vo. 7s. Qd. 
Ancient History op the East ; Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia,, 

Media, Persia, Asia Minor, and Phoenicia. Woodcuts. Post8vo. 7*. Qd. 

Ancient Geography. By Rev. W. L. Bevan. Woodcuts. 

Post 8vo. 7s. 6d. 

History op Greece ; from the Earliest Times to the Roman 
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*** Questions on the above Work, 12mo. 2s. 

History op Rome; from the Earliest Times to the Estab- 
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Gibbon's Decline and Tall op the Roman Empire. Woodcuts. 

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Hallam's History op Europe during the Middle Ages. 

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Hallam's History op England ; from the Accession of 

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\ Hume's History op England from the Invasion of Julius 
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History of France ; from the Earliest Times to the Estab- 
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English Language. By Geo. P. Marsh. Post 8vo. 7s. Qd. 
English Literature. By T. B. Shaw, M.A. Post 8vo. 7s.6d. 
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By T. B. Shaw. Post 8vo. 7s. Qd. 
Modern Geography ; Mathematical, Physical and Descriptive. 

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Moral Philosophy. By William Fleming, D.D. Post 8vo. 

7s. Qd. 

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STYFFE (Knutt). Strength of Iron and Steel. Plates. 8vo. 12s. 
SOMERVILLE (Mary). Personal Recollections from Early Life 

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■ Physical Geography. Portrait. Post 8vo. 9s. 

Connexion of the Physical Sciences. Portrait. 

Post 8vo. 9s. 

— — — Molecular and Microscopic Science. Illustra- 



2 Vols. Post8vo. 21s. 



STANHOPE'S (Earl) WORKS :— 

History of England from the Eeign of' Queen Anne to 
the Peace of Versailles, 1701-83. 9 vols. Post 8vo. 5s. each. 

British India, from its Origin to 1783. 8vo. 3s. 6d t 

History of " Forty-Five." Poat 8vo. 3s. 

Historical and Critical Essays- Post 8vo. 3s. 6d. 

French Eetreat from Moscow, and other Essays. Post 870. 
is. 6d. 

Life of Belisarius. Post 8vo. 10s. 6d. 

Life of Conde. Post 8vo. 3s. 6d. 

Life of William Pitt. Portraits. 4 Vols. 8vo. 24s. 

Miscellanies. 2 Yols. Post 8vo. 13s. 

Story of Joan of Arc. Fcap. 8vo. Is. 

Addresses on Various Occasions. 16mo. Is. 
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SWAINSON (Canon). Nicene and Apostles' Creeds; Their 
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SYBEL (Von) History of Europe during the French Eevolution, 

1789—1795. 4 Vols. 8vo. 48s. 
SYMONDS' (Eev. W.) Eecords of the Eocks; or Notes on the 
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THIBAUT'S (Antoine) Purity in Musical Art. Translated from 
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THIELMANN (Baron). Journey through the Caucasus to 
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Babylon, and across the Desert to Palmyra. Translated by Chas. 
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THOMS (W. J.). Longevity of Man ; its Facts and its Fiction. 

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THOMSON (Archbishop). Lincoln's Inn Sermons. 8vo. 10s. 6d. 

Life in the Light of God's Word. Post 8vo. 5s. 

TITIAN'S LIFE AND TIMES. With ?ome account of his 

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TOCQUEVILLE'S State of Society in France before the Eevolution, 
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TOMLINSON (Charles) ; The Sonnet ; Its Origin, Structure, and 
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TOZEE (Eev. H. F.) Highlands of Turkey, with Visits to Mounts 

Ida, Athos, Olympus, and Pelion. 2 Vols. Crown 8vo. 24s. 

Lectures on the Geography of Greece. Map. Post 

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TEISTEAM (Canon) Great Sahara. Illustrations. Crown 8vo. 15s. 
I Land of Moab ; Travels and Discoveries on the East 

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32 LIST OF WORKS PUBLISHED BY MR. MURRAY. 



TWENTY YEARS' RESIDENCE among the Greeks, Albanians, 
Turks, Armenians, and Bulgarians. By an English Lady. Edited 
by Stanley Lane Poole. 2 Vols. Crown 8vo. 

TWISLETON (Edward). The Tongue not Essential to Speech, 
with Illustrations of the Power of Speech in the case of the African 
Confessors. Post8vo. 6s. 

TWISS' (Horace) Life of Lord Eldon. 2 Vols. Post 8vo. 21s. 

TYLOR (E. B.) Early History of Mankind, and Development 

of Civilization. 8vo. 12s. 
Primitive Culture ; the Development of Mythology, 

Philosophy, Religion, Art, and Custom. 2 Vols. 8vo. 24s. 

Y AMBER Y (ArmINITJs) Travels from Teheran across the Turko- 
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YAN LENNEP (Henry J.) Travels in Asia Minor. With 
Illustrations of Biblical Literature, and Archeology. With Woodcuts, 
2 Vols. Post 8vo. 24s. 

Modern Customs and Manners of Bible Lands, 

in illustration of Scripture. With Maps and 800 Illustrations. 
2 Vols. 8vo. 21s. 

VIKOHOW (Professor). The Freedom of Science in the 
Modern State. Fcap. 8vo. 2s. 

WELLINGTON'S Despatches during his Campaigns in India, 
Denmark, Portugal, Spain, the Low Countries, and France. 8 Vols. 
8vo. 20s. each. 

— Supplementary Despatches, relating to India, 

Ireland, Denmark, Spanish America, Spain, Portugal, France, Con- 
gress of Vienna, Waterloo and Paris. 14 Vols. 8to. 20s. each. 
%* An Index. 8vo. 20s. 



Civil and Political Correspondence. Vols. I. to 

VII. 8vo. 20s. each. 

Speeches in Parliament. 2 Yols. 8vo. 42s. 

WHEELER (G.). Choice of a Dwelling ; a Practical Handbook of 
Useful Information on Building a House. Plans. Post 8vo. 7s. 6d. 

WHITE (W. H.). Manual of Naval Architecture, for the use of 
Naval Officers. Shipowners, Shipbuilder i, and Yachtsmen. Illustra- 
tions. 8vo. 24s. 

WILBERFORCE'S (Bishop) Life of William Wilberforce. Portrait. 
Crown 8vo. 6s. 

WILKINSON (Sir J. G.). Manners and Customs of the 
Ancient Egyptians, their Private Life, Government, Laws, Arts, Manu- 
factures, Religion, &c. A new edition, with additions by the late 
Author. Edited by Samuel Birch, LL.D. Illustrations. 3 Vols 8vo. 

Popular Account of the Ancient Egyptians. With 

500 Woodcuts. 2 Vols. Post8vo. 12s. 

WOOD'S (Captain) Source of the Oxus. With the Geography 

of the Valley of the Oxus. By Col. Yule. Map. 8vo. 12s. 

WOKDS OP HUMAN WISDOM. Collected and Arranged by 
E. S. With a Preface by Canon Liddon. Fcap. 8vo. 3«. 6d. 

WORDSWORTH'S (Bishop) Athens and Attica. Plates. 8vo. 5s. 

YULE'S (Colonel) Book of Marco Polo. Illustrated by the Light 
of Oriental Writers and Modern Travels. With Maps and 80 Plates. 
2 Vols. Medium 8vo. 63s. 



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